Young people with Education, Health and Care plans will be eagerly awaiting decisions from their Local Authorities with regards to the post 16/19 phase of their education. Local Authorities must issue a final EHC plan on 31st March 2021 naming the placement or type of placement that post 16/19 students should attend from September 2021.

Local Authorities must issue a decision on 31st March 2021 to allow for transition time to the next placement. There must also be enough time to allow for appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, should the young person not agree with the placement named in his/her EHC plan.

Over the last year, the Education team at Shoosmiths have represented young people in appeals against the placement named in their EHC plans. One such case involved a post 16 student with learning difficulties who had requested a residential placement at an independent specialist college. The Local Authority disagreed naming a mainstream college along with a social care package in his final EHC plan. Gurvinder represented the young person at appeal and was successful in securing a residential placement at the independent specialist college, funded by the Local Authority, citing the need for consistency in learning across his waking hours via a waking day curriculum.