Temporary changes in the SEND legislation framework - How will the County Council respond?
The Department for Education (DfE) on Thursday 30 April 2020 issued guidance on temporary changes to Education, Health and Care (EHC) legislation during the coronavirus outbreak.
Temporary changes to section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014
One of the temporary changes is to section 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014, which modifies the duty on local authorities to secure special educational provision and on health commissioning bodies to arrange health provision in accordance with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. The modification allows on a case by case basis the Local Authority/health commissioning body to make alternative arrangements to meet the provision outlined in the EHC plan. The s42 modification must be renewed monthly and is effective from the 1 May 2020. It cannot be applied retrospectively.
Telephone contact with parents and carers
The guidance issued by the DfE emphasises the ongoing importance of co-production with children and young people with SEND and their families. The County Council over the next few weeks will be contacting all parents and carers of children and young people with an EHC plan by telephone to discuss current education and health provision that their child or young person is receiving, and how the parent/carer/young person are feeling about the provision.
This contact will take the form of a structured conversation to help with consistent recording. Wherever possible, this conversation will be led by a member of the Integrated Children’s Disability Service (ICDS) Education, Health and Care Assessment Team. A record of the conversation will be recorded on the child’s or young person’s electronic record.
Where a parent, carer or young person raises concerns, the Local Authority may decide to arrange a meeting between the education setting and the parents / carers to resolve using reasonable endeavours, if required. Likewise, any issues regarding health provision will be followed through with local health providers and commissioners.