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Hours and Funding in EHCPs

Dear parents/carers, children and young people,

Hello, my name is John Gelder and I am the Operational Lead for Education Health and Care plans in Stockport. I have become aware that there is some concern in relation to hours in EHCP plans. I hope to reassure you in this letter. We are clear as a local area that plans need to be specific and measurable.

I understand that the confusion may have arisen due to a change in our processes. Previously hours has been included in Section I of our Education Health and Care plans. This has now changed.

What was previously happening?

Up until September 2020 when a decision was taken to issue families with a draft Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) section I of the EHCP was completed to give recommendation as to the type of placement a child/young person should attend. Where this was identified as a mainstream school an amount of TA hours was populated as below:

Section I: Education Placement

Name of early years setting / school / college

 

Type of school / college

(Name of Pupil) should attend a mainstream school with 25 hours TA support

When the plan was subsequently finalised, and a mainstream school named; section I was then completed with an amount of TA hours in the section relating to ‘type of school/college’ as below:

Section I: Education Placement

Name of early years setting / school / college

 

Type of school / college

(Name of Pupil) should attend a mainstream school with 25 hours TA support

 Why we have changed this:

The SEN Code of Practice 9.69 is clear in what should be written into section I of the EHC Plan at both draft and final plan a stage

Placement

 

• The name and type of the school, maintained nursery school, post-16 institution or other institution to be attended by the child or young person and the type of that institution (or, where the name of a school or other institution is not specified in the EHC plan, the type of school or other institution to be attended by the child or young person)

• These details must be included only in the final EHC plan, not the draft EHC plan sent to the child’s parent or to the young person • See paragraph 9.78 onwards for more details

We have therefore revised our processes to ensure that all our Education Health and Care Plans remain complaint with the requirements of the SEND Code of Practice

Our Revised Process

Since September 2020 all new draft Education Health and Care Plans have been issued with section I (Placement/Placement Type) left blank for parents/carers and young people to be able to express their preference for the school they would like named in the Education Health and Care Plan

All Final Plans have had section I completed in accordance with 9.69 of the SEN Code of Practice as below:

Section I: Education Placement

Name of early years setting / school / college

 Example: School of Stockport

Type of school / college

A mainstream primary school

Additional Funding Provided to schools and other settings

At the point when a draft Education Health and Care plan has been issued and parents/carers or the young person themselves has expressed a preference for a particular setting the local authority will approach that setting to discuss how the setting will be able to make the provision set out in the Education Health and Care Plan.

It is at that point that discussions also take place with the school/setting regarding any additional resources required over and above what is available through the school/settings delegated SEN budget. Any additional funding agreement reached is then arranged directly between the school and the local authority.

It is only where a Personal Budget is in place that any funding arrangements are written in the Education Health and Care Plan under section J (Personal Budgets)

Personal Budgets | Stockport Information and Childcare Directory (fsd.org.uk)

What happened to the hours that were previously recorded in section I of the Education Health and Care Plan?

In accordance with the SEND Code of Practice 9.89 hours of support should be included in section F of the Education Health and Care Plan as follows:

SEN Code of Practice 9.89

(F) The special educational provision required by the child or the young person

Provision must be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example, in terms of the type, hours and frequency of support and level of expertise, including where this support is secured through a Personal Budget

We always endeavour to work closely with parents’ carers and young people and all the professionals that have been involved in providing advice for the EHC needs assessment to ensure that in writing the educational provision in section F that this is specified/quantified wherever possible as follows:

  • The type of intervention taking place (e.g.: Social Skills Group)
  • How long each session is for (e.g.: 20 minutes)
  • How many sessions per week (e.g.: 1 session per week)
  • By whom (e.g.: Teacher Teaching Assistant)  

This ensures that Section F of the Education Health and Care Plan clearly identifies what type of provision, frequency of support and level of expertise is being made to support the needs of the child/young person across the school/college week.

What this means for any amended Education Health and Care Plans

As and when plans that have been finalised before September 2020 are reviewed and amended we will continue to ensure that educational provision is appropriately quantified and specified in section F and complete section I of the Education Health and Care Plan in accordance with the SEN Code of Practice 9.89 (above).

We hope that this reassures families that we have not taken out specific hours within plans but are ensuring that these are written into the correct section of the Education Health and Care Plan. If you have any further queries, then please do not hesitate to contact me: john.gelder@stockport.gov.uk

Yours faithfully

John Gelder

Operational Lead Education Health and Care Plans