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 October 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: We have now re-named the SEND team as the EHCP team with the new job titles of “EHCP caseworkers”. All young people and families have now been allocated to our EHCP caseworkers. We are working as a team to re-focus our work with families, including making contact when a referral has been accepted and throughout the process to ensure we have better communication with you.
2. Refresh of the administrative processes to ensure new education, health and care plans (EHCPs) are issued within 20 weeks
Update: The council have appointed additional staff to the EHCP casework team. We have now completed work looking at the 20-week process and how this can be simplified to make sure we are completing EHCPs within 20 weeks. In September 2020 we had a 67% completion rate within timescale compared to 13% in June 2020. We have plans in place to improve this month on month. Staff are working hard to clear the backlog. At the end of June 2020, we had 83 plans past 20 weeks, we now today have 8 plans. We realise that we still have some way to go but there is real progress being made.
3. Review all existing EHCPs to confirm that an annual review has taken place. Where amendments have been made to the plan in the annual review, you will receive the statutory letter informing you of this. Where annual reviews have taken place between September 2019 to May 2020, we will update plans over the next 3 months and send the updated plans to parents
Update: We have now reviewed whether all young people with EHCPs have had a review within the last year. If you have not had a review, your school/setting will now have been contacted and asked to complete urgently. We have also made schools/settings aware of the reviews coming up within the next term.
The reviews that have taken place but plans not updated are still being completed. Your EHCP Caseworker will be able to update you on where this is up to. I apologise not all amendments have been made. For reviews that have taken place since September 2020 you should now receive a letter confirming whether amendments are being made within a month of the review.
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: At the end of June 2020 there were 1065 reviews out of date. At the start of October, this was 642. We have written to every school/setting with out of date reviews asking for completion within 6 weeks. We will now be monitoring completion and chasing as necessary.
5. Re-design the referral paperwork with partners including parent/carers to ensure it is user friendly
Update: We have now re-designed the referral form with SENCOs who are now trying this out.
6. Re-design the letters and information with parent/carer reps to ensure it is user friendly
Update: The letters have been re-designed with parent/carer input and are in draft. These will now be implemented.
7. Re-design information sent out with our young people 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 be complete for November 2020
8. Work with schools and settings to link the EHCP process into SEN planning
Update: A SENCO working party has been looking at the link and trying to make sure that SEN support plan planning is linked into the EHCP process. Further work on this will be done in the next few months. We expect to report on progress at the end of this year.
9. Plan training for settings and schools about outcomes for children and young people
Update: We are pleased that the Council for Disabled Children have agreed to deliver training for our SENCO and school leaders on the 17 November 2020 on how to set person centred outcomes. This will be in addition to e-learning which is now available for all to access, This can be accessed here: https://learning.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/class/4082/health
10. Launch the co-produced Outcomes Framework in Stockport and make sure all our paperwork is focussed on those outcomes. You can see the Outcomes Framework on our Local Offer: https://stockport.fsd.org.uk/kb5/stockport/fsd/advice.page?id=refI_wFOjT0.
Update: The outcomes framework is being launched at the Stockport SEND week of action. This is taking place on the 16 to 20 November 2020. The outcomes framework will be included in all of our paperwork, and the focus of support for families. This has been co-produced with parent/carers and young people. The SEND week of action is going to include events, training, and information sessions. Information on this can be found in the Stockport SEND Local Offer website. Please also find us on Twitter and Facebook to find the latest information and updates on SEND in Stockport.
In the next few months we will be concentrating on:
- Clearing the annual review backlog of amendments
- Work on SEN support planning with our school and setting colleagues
- Re-designing the annual review process
- Working on a one worker pilot. This will mean one nominated, named person working alongside the family through the journey, to build up a relationship.
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 will be providing further updates in December 2020. 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