Secondary transfer for EHC plans

The process for applying for a secondary school place is different for pupils with Education Health and Care (EHC) plans to those who have special educational needs without an EHC Plan.

When your child enters Year 6 in the Autumn term, the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child’s current school will start an annual review to establish which school they will attend in year 7.  The annual review meeting will give you an opportunity to state clearly what you want for your child.

As part of the review, the following steps should take place between September and December:

  • The school will inform you of the annual review meeting date
  • Find out more information about schools - Choosing a school
  • Visit secondary school provisions that you are interested in
  • Annual review meetings will be held to discuss the transition to secondary school with a focus on necessary provision and planning and inform preference of school
  • Completed annual review information is sent to the Special Education Service (SES) for consideration, with views of which school is to be requested
  • SES start the formal consultation with your preferred secondary school(s).  Consultations may also be sent to local secondary schools deemed appropriate by the Council, in line with efficient use of resources.

By 15 February of the Spring term:

  • You will receive an EHC plan with the intended secondary school to be named in Section I of the plan. 
  • The SENCO at the current school will start the transition to secondary school.

School places are allocated in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice (2015), which requires that a decision is made after considering the child’s special educational needs, parental preference and the formal view of the schools requested.  The local authority is required to comply with parental preference for a maintained school unless:

  • The school is unsuitable to the child’s age, ability, aptitude or SEN; or
  • The placement would be incompatible with the efficient education of the other children who the child would be educated with; or
  • Incompatible with the efficient use of resources.

If the named school is not suitable, refer to the information on Mediation, appeals and resolutions

Child with special educational needs without an EHC plan

You will need to apply for a secondary school in the standard way.  Read the Starting Secondary School information, complete the online application form by the deadline date.  The decision will be given on the national offer date.

Child undergoing statutory assessment

As the statutory assessment has not yet been completed, you will need to contact your Education Health Care Inclusion Officer (EHCIO) for further advice.


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