Phase transfers for children and young people with SEND

When your child moves from one stage of education to another, this is called a phase transfer. Phase transfers happen when your child makes the following transitions in their educational journey:

  • early years setting to school
  • infant school to junior school
  • primary to secondary school
  • secondary school onto post-16 or 19 provision.

The phase transfer process

Apart from when an educational, health and care (EHC) plan is first issued, the move between phases of education is the most common time that you have to think about what school or college should be named in your child’s EHC plan.

The process begins when your child is:

  • in their last year at their pre-school setting
  • year 2 if they are transferring to junior school
  • year 5 when transferring to secondary school and
  • year 10 when thinking about post-16 options.

Your child’s current setting will hold a phase transfer review (which is also the annual review) of your child’s EHC plan during the penultimate year of their current setting. The aim of this review is to discuss future placements, as well as to review the EHC plan.

As part of the annual review paperwork it is important that you include your request for the next school or provision. When this is submitted to us we will consult your preferred school or provision and potentially other schools or provisions that may be able to meet your child’s needs.

If you are requesting a specific primary or secondary school, you do not need to apply for a school place through our school admissions service as your child has an EHC plan.

We must tell you which setting or provision we will be naming and issue you with an amended final EHC plan by the 15 February before they transfer in September.

If your child is moving onto post-16 provision we must tell you which provision we will be naming and issue an amended final EHC plan by 31 March before they transfer in September.

Choosing a school or post-16 provider

Most children and young people with special educational needs can be taught in mainstream schools or colleges. If your child has more severe or complex needs, their needs might be best met by attending a special school or a school with a special resourced provision (SRP).

Support for parents

Moving to a new school can be an exciting and anxious experience for your child and your family. Before your child starts school or college, there are some things you can do before to help prepare. Read our parent and carer transition guides on how to support your child move from:

If you are unhappy about the school or college named on your EHC plan

If you would like to discuss the school, college or provision that is named in the EHC plan then you can contact you assessment and placement officer. If you disagree with the setting or provision we have named you can appeal to the SEN and Disability Tribunal.