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Moving to a new Local Authority (LA)

When a child or young person with an EHC plan moves into a different local authority’s area, the EHC plan will need to transfer to the new local authority (LA). This will not happen automatically. Under the law, it happens either on the day of the move or within 15 working days of the new LA becoming aware of the move, if later. Therefore, it is best to tell the new LA (usually the SEN team) in advance that you are going to be moving into the area, although they will not action anything until the move date.

The new LA then has six weeks to notify you that the EHC plan has been transferred, and to let you know when it is going to review the EHC. As soon as the EHC plan has transferred, the new LA has the same legal duties as if it had issued the EHC plan itself. The most important duty is to make sure that your child, or you as a young person, receives all of the special educational provision specified in Section F of the EHC plan.

If the EHC plan names a school for which fees must be paid in Section I, “the new authority may not decline to pay the fees or otherwise maintain the child at an independent or non-maintained special school or a residential school named in an EHC plan unless and until they have amended the EHC plan” (Paragraph 9.159 of the Code).

If it is no longer practicable for your child or you as a young person to attend the school or college named in Section I (perhaps because it is too far away) then your LA must arrange for them or you to attend another appropriate school until it reviews and amends the EHC plan.

The new LA must review the EHC plan within either 12 months from the EHC plan being made or last reviewed, or 3 months from the date of the transfer, whichever is the later.

Health provision in the EHC plan

A move may mean that the child or young person not only changes LA but also finds themselves under a new commissioning body (formerly known as a clinical commissioning group, and now known as an Integrated Care Board) for their health services.

Where it is not practicable for that new commissioning body to arrange the health care provision specified in the EHC plan: it must, within 15 working days beginning with the date on which it became aware of the move, request that the new LA makes an EHC needs assessment or reviews the EHC plan, and the new LA must comply with such request (paragraphs 9.163-5 of the Code).