Dear parents/carers, children and young people, and colleagues
Hello, my name is Bev Milway and I am the Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion in Stockport. I am writing to you jointly today with Tim Bowman, Director of Education. This is my usual update on our improvement programme. In this update we want to clearly address some of the concern we have heard from our parent/carer community in the last few weeks. We know that there is some upset and confusion about changes that are being made to how we describe provision and resources within our EHCP plans. We would like to apologise for any anxiety that these changes are causing and we would like to explain why these changes are being made.
As part of our work to improve the quality and effectiveness of EHC plans we have started to look at the content. This is very important if we are to have robust plans that are ambitious for our young people. This is not a straightforward task and, we are clear, it must be done well not quickly As such, we have plans in place stretching into next year to work with partners, including our community to look at how we ensure good outcomes are detailed in our plans.
An early issue that has been picked up is the historical practice of detailing hours of support within section I of the plan. Whilst we understand why this has been done, the SEND Code of Practice is clear that Section I it should contain
“Section I: 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)”
Therefore, as plans are reviewed we must remove from section I any specified hours of provision and complete all new plans in this way too . Instead, all provision to meet outcomes should be detailed in Section F:
“Section F: The special educational provision required by the child or the young person”
Provision needs to be clearly linked to outcomes for our children and young people. Weunderstand from your feedback that in some cases, the full extent of provision previously represented in section I has not been included in the re-drafted section F. This has followedannual reviews in terms of hours. If you feel that this is an issue then please email: SEND-IP@stockport.gov.uk . We would like to reassure you that our work is about making outcomes better for our children and young people. With this in mind we are clear that all plans need to be outcome focussed and specify goals and support needed for our children and young people to achieve.
In terms of detailing the monetary value of provision, we can clarify that this will be contained in section J only when a personal budget has been requested, in line with the Code of Practice.
In other news, we are continuing to listen to the lived experience of our community. We are holding two webinars on the 6 October, 11.30am and 7 October 7pm. You can sign up here: https://stockport.fsd.org.uk/kb5/stockport/fsd/site.page?id=PRWoEbYvIcY
John Gelder, EHCP Operational Lead will be running a series of Engagement Sessions throughout the year to meet with himself and Team Leaders from the EHCP Team. Please see the link to these here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/stockport-local-area-30613527054 If the times are not suitable, the team will book another mutually convenient slot. The teams contact details are also here: https://stockport.fsd.org.uk/kb5/stockport/fsd/advice.page?id=amzJCPySnOw
We have launched a specific page on the local offer for our community to feedback their experiences. This can be both things to celebrate, positives which may have helped you or you may want to highlight things that did not go as expected, and that may need to change. This can be on any aspect of your SEND journey, health, education or social care. We would encourage use of the page and will be looking at feedback to inform our improvement plans. The page can be accessed here: lived experience feedback page on the local offer
We will be holding our next SEND week of action in November, this will run during the week of 22 November, the theme will be “early help and SEN support”. During the week there will be free webinars and information sharing.
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
I hope you have found this information useful. Please use the lived experience feedback page on the local offer if you want to tell us about things you want to see in future editions of the newsletter.
Tim Bowman (Director of Education) & Bev Milway (Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclunion)