On 30th April 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 notice referred to in the guidance is available here Modification notice: EHC plans legislation changes.
The duty to secure special educational provision and health care provision in accordance with EHC plan has been temporarily modified to: a duty to use ‘reasonable endeavours’. There is also a temporary change amending the statutory timescales for various EHC needs assessment and plan processes. The guidance also confirms that key elements of the processes over EHC needs assessments and plans are unchanged, including that a local authority must still consider requests for a new EHC needs assessment, must still secure all of the required advice and information in order to be able to issue a plan, and must have regard to the views and wishes of a child, the child’s parent or a young person when carrying out its SEND functions under the Children and Families Act 2014.
We wish to assure Newcastle parents/carers, children and young people that our staff are still working from home and we are looking at how we can continue to provide this service. We will publish a more information regarding what this means for us next week. If you have any concerns please call your SEND Caseworker.
DfE have also set you a helpline below for any queries that you might have, however please do not hesitate to get in touch with either your SEND casework or 0191 277 4650.