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Education, Health and Care Plans and Annual Review Statement: March 2021

Dear parents/carers, children and young people, and colleagues

Education, health and care plans and annual review statement: March 2021

Hello, my name is Bev Milway and I am the Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion in Stockport. I would firstly like to apologise for the delay to my latest update. I am sure you will understand that there has been significant pressure due to the latest lockdown.  

Since my last letter I can update you with the following progress:

1.         EHCP team

Update: Our team of caseworkers are continuing to embed our neighbourhood model of working with families to ensure that as far as possible there is a consistent key contact from within the team. We have updated information within the Local Offer (Meet the EHCP team) to provide clear information regarding who is in the team, what we do and how to contact us. 

Whilst we have been able to appoint three members of the team to permanent posts,  two other members of the team will be leaving us to take up posts in other areas. We are currently looking to recruit to two temporary posts to replace these as soon as possible.  

2.         Refresh of the administrative processes to ensure new education, health and care plans (EHCPs) are issued within 20 weeks

Update: We issued 35 final Education, Health and Care (EHCPs) plans during January and February 2021. All were completed within the 20-week timeframe. Our focus is now on the quality of our plans to make sure they are outcome focussed and are clearly co-produced with parent/carers and young people. John Gelder our EHCP operational lead is now leading on this work. If you have any questions please contact him at john.gelder@stockport.gov.uk

We now also have a working group looking specifically at our annual review paperwork, and process. This has parent/carer input but we always welcome further views.

3.        Annual Reviews

Update: As of the beginning of March 2021 a total of 805 annual reviews are recorded as overdue. In order to address this, caseworkers have been contacting their schools / settings in order to ensure that review dates for this academic year for all pupils with Education, Health and Care plans are set and where a review has taken place, the paperwork is received as quickly as possible.  

Overall over 85% of settings have responded with a specific review date. A small number have not provided a specific date. It is expected that as a result of continued liaison with those settings that these review dates will be set by the start of the summer term.

Where our records show we have incomplete paperwork from last year’s review, we are working closely with those settings and families to ensure that this information is included the paperwork for this year’s annual review. 

The EHCP team have been working on amending plans for pupils who are moving to a new placement in September 2021 (nursery to reception/ primary to secondary and Year 11s moving on to post 16 provision).

147 Education, Health and Care plans for Year 6 pupils moving onto secondary school in September 2021 have been amended with over 96% of those being finalised by the 15th February deadline.

Over 80% of Year 11 pupils who require an amended Education, Health and Care plan have received one. This leaves a small number (26 pupils) where a draft amended EHCP is yet to be issued by the deadline of 31st March 2021   

In addition, we have 173 requests for updates to EHC plans that fall outside of these transition groups from the last academic year. Difficulties with capacity within the team as well in a lot of cases with information required being missing or out of date, have impacted on the amount of progress we have been able to make. For those children and young people where a subsequent review is due within the next 2 months, we are contacting families and schools and arranging wherever possible for a caseworker to attend the next review, to ensure that any outstanding information can be coordinated and a draft amended EHCP issued as soon as possible after that review. It is planned that all of these outstanding amendments will be completed by the beginning of the autumn term 2021. We would like to apologise for the delay and assure you that we now have a robust action plan signed off by senior managers.

4.         Work with schools and settings to link the EHCP process into SEN planning

Update: A group of SENCOs is now meeting monthly to look at the quality of referrals for EHCPs and how SEN support has been evidenced in those referrals. Good practice will be shared with all schools and support offered to schools where needed. Summaries of findings will be shared with parents via the Local Offer, through the SEND newsletter and through this update.

For more information about the recommended approach to SEN Support in Stockport, see the Local Offer ‘Education and Learning’ page: 

You may also want to watch this webinar about support plans delivered for PACTS

5.     Co-production Charter Update

Update: We now have 40 schools and 15 services signed up to the co-production charter. You can see the list of those signed up on the Co-production page of our SEND Local Offer website.

6.    Keyworker pilot

Update: We have carried out a series of workshops to discuss how the SEND Keyworker role will happen in practice. We are now planning when the pilot will take place. This has been slightly delayed due to the latest lockdown.

7.    Pilot of Stockport Enhanced Learning Fund (SELF)

Update: We now have a pilot running in the Werneth and Brinnington area to trial a different way of funding support for SEND children. The schools in this area are working together to look at how we can focus on early support. One of the things discussed has been speech, language and communication focus to ensure our children have the best start within school. We will trial this over the next few months to see if it should be rolled out across all Stockport schools.

In the next few months we will be focussing on:

  • Getting up to date with annual review amendments
  • Ensuring quality of EHCP
  • Ensuring we have young person involvement within the process
  • Implementing new ways of gaining clear feedback from families on the process

Stockport publishes a monthly SEND newsletter for our community. Click the link below to receive the latest information and updates on SEND in Stockport. You can find every issue of the SEND Newsletter on the SEND Newsletter page of our SEND Local Offer website. Subscribe here

Our SEND Champions now number 120. This is a group of parent/carers, workers and those who want to champion SEND who come together to look at how we can all work together to improve the experience for families in Stockport. If you are interested in joining you can find more information on the SEND Champions page of our SEND Local Offer website

As lock down eases and children return to school we know that this is still a potentially stressful time for all, particularly our SEND families. We have put together some resources that could be useful. These can be found on our SEND Local Offer website.

We have our early help, emotional wellbeing and SEND hub available if you need support at any time. Please ring 0161 217 6028 and select Option 2 if you need support or someone to speak to.

I will be providing further updates in May 2021. If you have a specific query or question in the meantime, please contact me on bev.milway@stockport.gov.uk.

Yours faithfully

Bev Milway

Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion