Coronavirus - Education Updates
Government Guidance for parents
You can find all the up to date Government guidance here at www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare
We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for families and young people and we will continue to provide as much support as possible through ensuring contact is available to answer any questions you might have.
Our SEND Assessment Team continue to work with education settings to support them through this time and to share recent guidance produced by central government on the virus which describes how we need to work closely with families, health professionals, education and the Local Authority.
At this time there is little change to the EHCP process. We will use our best endeavours to ensure that we gather as much information as possible to support this process during this difficult time. We will do all that we can to complete new EHC assessments as quickly as possible and in as much detail as possible under the circumstances.
Any requests for new statutory assessments which we receive will be considered within the normal process and the SEN Case Officers will follow up with a telephone conversation with relevant professionals and agree how to capture the required information. SEN Case Officers will also speak with the parents/carers of each child/young person and the setting to discuss how best to capture the required information. The summary assessment meetings (person-centred planning meetings) will not be possible face to face in the current circumstances, however we will ensure that parents/carers and young people have the opportunity to share their views and have their voice heard using telephone conferences in addition to written comments and any other creative ways which we all agree.
The SEN Assessment Team are working away from the office environment at this time, however our service continues to operate. Anyone requiring information should contact the SEN Single Point of Contact Number on 01642 201831 (9am until 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00am until 4.30pm Friday.
Updated Government Guidance: EHCPs
The Department for Education has released new guidance on temporary changes to the law on Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans and needs assessments. This is to give local authorities, health commissioning bodies, education settings and others who contribute to these processes more flexibility in responding to the demands placed on them by coronavirus.
- The duty on local authorities or health commissioning bodies to secure or arrange the provision is temporarily modified to a duty to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to do so.
- The Special Educational Needs and Disability (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. This temporarily amends four sets of Regulations that specify timescales that apply to local authorities, health commissioning bodies and others: mainly for various processes relating to EHC needs assessments and plans.
This non-statutory guidance provides a summary of these legislative changes and sets out the key implications for all who play a part in the processes relating to EHC needs assessments and plans.
This is essential reading for parent carers, young people and professionals and practitioners in the education, health and social care and VCS sector. You can read the full guidance here.