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COVID-19 SEND education health and care plans

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Updated 2 April 2020

Requests for Statutory Assessments

During the Covid 19 situation, schools/colleges and parents will still be able to request a statutory assessment. We hope, if professionals are already involved with the child or young person, and the education provider has been implementing the advice they have provided, it is likely that there will be evidence to request an EHC Needs assessment and we will then be able to describe any needs and provision.

In some cases, there may not be any professional evidence of needs yet. This will make it more difficult to consider an assessment, as schools/colleges are closing and so professionals will not be able to see your child to assess them in the usual way. In these cases, you may need to think about whether this is the most appropriate time to make the request.

When we decide that we need to complete a statutory assessment, we usually ask a range of people (like teachers, educational psychologists, and other professionals) for advice. This will be more difficult because:

  • health and care staff may be asked to work in front line services instead of their usual role
  • professionals may not be available - they may be sick, self-isolating or caring for children
  • Educational Psychologists will not be able to see and assess children and young people in school/college in the usual way

If you do decide to submit a request for an EHC Needs assessment at this time, we would ask that you include telephone numbers and email addresses so that processes can be carried out in a 'virtual' way.

The weekly panel Single Multi Agency Panel 'SMAP' will continue as a Virtual Panel on a Wednesday and outcomes will be shared with families and schools. 

An Assessment Coordinator, EHC Officers and Caseworkers will continue to be allocated to each EHC Needs Assessment and if a statutory plan is agreed, a draft plan will be sent electronically to families and those who submitted advice for comment before it is finalised.

Please note the Plymouth model of statutory assessment, involving a 'skeleton plan' and multi-agency draft planning meeting has been put on hold for the foreseeable future.

It is likely to be harder for us to consult with schools/colleges to name in an EHC Plan because of school/college closures and less teachers being available. Where we have completed an assessment and we are due to issue a final EHC Plan, we will name the current school/college. This will mean that the child or young person will still be supported by that school/college during the COVID-19 crisis.

The 0-25 SEND Team will work together with schools/colleges to make sure that children, young people and their families feel safe and supported.

Please be aware the 0-25 SEND will keep working, but likely with less people than normal, doing our best to make the right decisions for children and young people during this time.  We will try hard to keep parents updated where there are any problems.

If any of this is unclear, please do not hesitate to contact the 0-25 SEND Team for clarification.

01752 307 409

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