SEND News (May/June 2020)Published: Wednesday, 27th May 2020
Regional and National SEND News
National SEND News:
Changes to the law on EHC needs assessments and plans
On 1st May 2020 the government announced temporary changes to the law on Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and plans. 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 special educational provision and health care provision in accordance with EHC plans is temporarily modified to a duty to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to do so.
- There will also be changes in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Regulations, temporarily amending the statutory timescales for various EHC needs assessment and plan processes. The timescales are replaced with a duty to complete the relevant action as “soon as reasonably practicable”.
The guidance provides a summary of these legislative changes and sets out the key implications. It also confirms which key elements of the processes relating to EHC needs assessments and plans are unchanged.
- Education Health and Care needs assessments and plans: guidance on temporary legislative changes relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) (opens in a new window)
- You can also read the joint ministerial letter from Minister Ford, Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, and Minister Whately, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care, to children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers (opens in a new window)
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published a new report on support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
The report highlights the vital need for a review of SEND support and calls on the government to complete it urgently.
The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) have produced a summary of the PAC report (opens in a new window)
Family Fund Grants
Family Fund has received extra funding to provide grants for families of disabled children or children with complex needs facing difficulties during the coronavirus outbreak.
Department for Education Research
Department for Education are undertaking research to understand the challenges faced by parents, teachers and education professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Worcestershire County Council Letter to Parents
Following the recent government announcement about the plan to begin to reopen schools, Worcestershire County Council has written an open letter to parents, carers and guardians about Worcestershire’s approach to the wider re-opening of schools.
COVID-19 Anxiety in Children Survey
Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Children First, Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust want to find out about your experiences of mental health and anxiety in children and young people during the Covid-19 outbreak.
This questionnaire is aimed at children and young people and can also be filled in by parents and guardians on behalf of your child.
You can complete the COVID-19 anxiety in children survey (opens in a new window)
Education Services in Worcestershire
On 1st June 2020, Education Services currently delivered by Babcock Prime will transfer to Worcestershire Children First.
For new contact details and links to web services please visit Worcestershire Children First (opens in a new window)