Education, health and care plans and annual review statement: 10 August 2020.
Dear parents/carers, children and young people,
Hello, my name is Bev Milway and I am the Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion in Stockport.
Steve Nyakatawa, Interim Director of Education at Stockport Council, wrote to you in May 2020 about Education, health and care plan (EHCP) timescales. You can see the letter on the Local Offer. I now want to update you about our progress and priorities since then on our SEND improvement journey.
In that letter, we said we would:
- Provide additional staff in the SEN Team Update: We have four new EHCP co-ordinators starting in August and September 2020 which means we will have more staff to carry out assessments, write plans and update reviews.
- Overhaul the administrative processes to ensure new education, health and care plans (EHCPs) are issued within 20 weeks Update: We have made good progress and are monitoring timeliness on a weekly basis and working on any issues. We now have an updated process for staff to follow to make sure everything is recorded electronically, and information is easily available. This will make it easier to monitor timescales.
We have also changed our processes so that our EHCP co-ordinators make contact with parents when a referral is made, after panel discussions and to update on progress. You should therefore have regular contact during the EHC needs assessment and progress updates as the EHCP is being prepared. This is important, we want the EHCP process to be one which parent/carers and young people play an active part in, and co-produce plans and we want you to feel that we are keeping you informed.
- Review all existing EHCPs to confirm that an annual review has taken place. Where amendments have been made to your 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 received and logged all information from schools about children’s annual reviews and are working through the backlog of updates to your plans. This will be completed in October 2020. This is a delay from the original deadline, and I apologise for this. The delay is due to the time it has taken to get information onto our electronic systems and the need to train staff. If you have a query in relation to your own or your child’s EHC plan then please contact your EHCP co-ordinator, so they can update you, or SEND-IP@stockport.gov.uk.
- 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 are on track to be able to plan these in with schools at the start of the Autumn term. This will be done by the end of September 2020.
Our plans for further improvement
In terms of the journey going forward in the next three months, by the start of November, we will:
- Clear the annual review backlog
- Re-design the referral paperwork with partners including parent/carers to ensure it is user friendly
- Re-design the letters and information to parent/carers with parent/carer reps to ensure it is user friendly
- Re-design the information young people receive with young people and ensure systems are in place to gain the views of young people on their plans
- Work with schools and settings to link the EHCP process into SEN planning
- Plan training for settings and schools about setting outcomes for children and young people
- 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.
We are working hard to improve the EHCP process, and systems. There is a commitment to change our processes and practice to make sure we improve the lived experience for families in Stockport. I will provide an update on the Local Offer every two months about our progress and will update you again in the first week of October. 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