Coronavirus – Supporting Children with an EHCP (Reasonable Endeavours)

The government has temporarily changed some aspects of the law around Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP).  These are:

1. Changing from an ‘absolute duty’ on local authorities and commissioning health bodies to provide what is written in an EHC plan to making ‘reasonable endeavours’ to provide all or some of the provision written in a child or young person’s EHC plan. The duty will be renewed one month at a time.

2. Recognising that there may be delays in some of the processes and it may be impossible to meet timescales that are set out around EHC Needs assessments and EHC plans. The law now requires the processes to be completed ‘as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter’. This is in place until 25th September 2020 and will be reviewed for extension on that date.

Read the reasonable endeavours key messages and legal fact sheet from Essex County Council for more detail.

The Director of Education at Essex County Council, Clare Kershaw has also written to parents and carers about these temporary changes. Read the letter here.

What will happen next

You will be contacted by your child’s early years setting, school or college to talk about what support is reasonable and possible at this time. You will make a temporary plan together.

This conversation will be between you, your child or young person and your child’s educational setting in the first instance.

If you do not receive a call or email to set up this discussion by 12 June 2020, please send an email to SENDparticipation@essex.gov.uk.

What the conversation will cover:

  • where is the most suitable place for your child to be at the moment?
  • what is written in your child’s EHC plan? What can we continue to deliver? What do we need to change or adapt?
  • how can we make this happen – for example, virtual rather than face-to-face?
  • who is available to support you and your child – for example, a learning assistant under virtual supervision rather than a specialist therapist or teacher?
  • how often and how regularly can we deliver parts of your child’s plan?

After the conversation

The conversation and temporary plan will be recorded in writing and a copy will be kept by you, the educational setting and Essex County Council as a record of what was agreed.

Reviewing the plan

This plan will need to be reviewed frequently. During the conversation you will agree how often to review the plan. You will work through the cycle of ‘assess, plan, do, review’ during the time that the temporary law is in place.

Feedback

When you have spoken with your child’s school, early years setting or college and made a plan, Essex County Council are asking you – and your child where possible – to please give feedback on how you feel about the support and plan.

Complete the survey (open from 1 June 2020).