Dear parents/carers, children and young people, and colleagues
Education, health and care plans and annual review statement:
Hello, my name is Bev Milway and I am the Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion in Stockport.
In early August 2020 I wrote to update you on our SEND improvement journey. I pledged to send out further updates every two months. This is my December update. I want to let you all know of the progress to date. Since the last letter I can update with the following:
1. EHCP team
Update: EHCP caseworkers from the pre and post 16 Teams have come together as one EHCP casework team under the leadership of Janice Coleman Holder (Post 16) and Alison Poyser (Pre 16). We have restructured the allocation of children and young people for each EHCP caseworker so that each caseworker is working to a group of primary and secondary schools and early years settings, that reflect the ‘neighbourhoods’ in Stockport. It is anticipated that this will provide a greater level of consistency for schools and families.
2. Refresh of the administrative processes to ensure new education, health and care plans (EHCPs) are issued within 20 weeks
Update: We have now finalised all of the out of timescale EHCP plans (81). In November we had 88% of plans signed off within the 20 weeks. In December I am pleased to say that we currently have 100% of new plans completed within timescale
3. Review all existing EHCPs to confirm that an annual review has taken place.
Update: The check is now complete. We now have a thorough picture of the reviews. We currently have 843 completed annual reviews in our system where paperwork needs to be finished and reviews completed. I want to apologise that these have not been cleared as quickly as originally planned. This has been due to staff shortages. We have additional staff starting with us this week. We are working hard to look at all reviews and are completing amendments.
4. Work with settings to set up annual reviews for any plans that are out of timescale and any that are due before September 2020
Update: We wrote to all settings in September 2020 to advise of outstanding reviews for the previous academic year and to ask for any review that had not taken place to be arranged of the first half of the autumn term. Caseworkers are continuing to work through the paperwork from these reviews as well as making contact with all settings to plan for reviews for the academic year 2020/2021
5. Re-design the referral paperwork with partners including parent/carers to ensure it is user friendly
Update: Draft new paperwork is being trialed through the SENCO Working Group. Feedback from this will inform any changes needed before we are able to roll out the new referral forms as a ‘pilot’ in the New Year. It is anticipated that the pilot will be finished and completed paperwork should be ready to be used across all settings from the beginning of the Summer Term 2021.
6. Re-design with our young people information sent out and ensure systems are in place to gain their views on their plans
Update: Our strategic participation lead, Michelle Bellis, is working with young people to re-design the information and this should now be complete for January 2021.
7. Work with schools and settings to link the EHCP process into SEN planning
Update: We are setting up a monthly specific EHCP SENCO group from January. This will look at anonymised EHCP referrals and quality assurance every month. It was also look at the SEN support that has been provided. This will provide an opportunity for SENCO’s to discuss and share best practice.
8. Launch the co-produced Outcomes Framework in Stockport and make sure all our paperwork is focussed on those outcomes. Also training for our schools/settings. You can see the Outcomes Framework on our Local Offer.
Update: The Outcomes Framework was launched in November as part of the SEND week of action in November 2020. Training was delivered by the Council for Disabled Children to our schools. We are now writing the outcomes into our EHC planning system going forwards and devising a one page profile with the help of young people to capture their outcomes.
9. Co-production Charter Launch
Update: We have now launched the Stockport Co-production Charter. These are the co-produced principles of what we expect within Stockport from each other. From those working within our SEND services but also families and parent/carers. We are now asking for schools and services to sign up to the Charter. We are expecting Currently we have 38 signed up, with more being added. You can find the charter here: charter on our Local Offer
10. Keyworker pilot
Update: We now have a working group set up looking at the proposal. This includes parent/carers. The role name was co-produced and will be “SEND Keyworker” There will be further work on this in the new year with a launch in February/March.
In the next few months we will be concentrating on:
- Ensuring all children have and up to date annual review with documented amendments.
- Re-designing the annual review process
- Working on a SEND Keyworker pilot
- Ensuring we have clearer mechanisms in place to gain feedback on the EHCP process
- Ensuring that the outcomes framework and co-production charter is evidenced in lived experience.
- Piloting an early help fund (SELF) to be available to our schools so young people can gain resources quicker. We will be piloting this in an area of Stockport initially and will update in the new year
Stockport also 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 here
I want to wish you all a Happy Christmas. I know that this year has been a difficult one for us all but for our SEND families, I know Covid-19 has impacted significantly. We have our SEND hub available if you need support over the festive period or at any time. Please contact the following number 0161 2176028, Option 2 if you need support or someone to speak to.
I will be providing further updates in February 2021. If you have a specific query or question in the meantime, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion