Gareth D Morewood

New Code update – all go from September?

After much debate, concern and questions as to timeframes, the final Code has been laid before Parliament – all 271 pages of it! After a considerable wait the following documents have been published (source: Special Needs Jungle).

 Key links for SENCos

Quite a lot of information and associated documents to digest, at one of the busiest times of the SENCo year! Needless to say, I haven’t had time to read thoroughly the latest offering, however, I hope through this SENCology post to highlight some of the opinion and information provided by others and signpost some key links for the busy SENCo to consider.

  1. Should the Implementation of the Children and Families Bill be Delayed? By Sarah Woosey - considers the latest version and highlights ‘gaping holes’ that remain, suggesting a delay in the implementation.
  2. Many feel that there isn’t enough time to support implementation (Sense)
  3. Transitional arrangements explained – see Douglas Silas’ summary
  4. A key element of the new ways of working: understanding mental health

Education, Health & Care Plans

EHCPs will not have a statutory format, unless Parliament sees things differently, but will have a consistent lay out as follows:

  • A: The views, interests and aspirations of the child and their parents or young person.
  • B: The child or young person’s special educational needs.
  • C: The child or young person’s health needs which are related to their special educational needs.
  • D: The child or young person’s social care needs which are related to their special educational needs.
  • E: The outcomes sought for the child or the young person, including outcomes for adult life. The EHC plan should also identify the arrangements for setting shorter term targets by the early years provider, school, college or other education or training provider.
  • F: The special educational provision required by the child or the young person.
  • G: Any health provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties and disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN, and where an Individual Health Care Plan is made for them, that plan.
  • H1: Any social care provision which must be made for a child or young person under 18 resulting from section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970
  • H2: Any other social care provision reasonably required by the learning difficulties and disabilities which result in the child or young person having SEN. This will include any adult social care provision being provided to meet a young person’s eligible needs (through a statutory care and support plan) under the Care Act 2014.
  • I: The name and type of the school, maintained nursery school, post-16 institution or other institution, or the type of school or other institution to be attended by the child or young person where no such institution is named. 29
  • J: Where there is a personal budget, the details of how the personal budget will support particular outcomes, the provision it will be used for including any flexibility in its usage and the details of any agreement for a direct payment for education, health and social care as set out in respective regulations.
  • K: The advice and information gathered during the EHC needs assessment (in appendices). There should be a list of this advice and information.

Although, regarding some of the exemplar EHCPs on the Pathfinders website there continues to be heated debate as to the correctness of the claim that they are ‘legally compliant’ – many feel not!

The Local Offer

There is a great deal of misinformation around, but one thing is certain: the Local Offer is for Local Authorities NOT schools. If schools have been told they must complete their ‘school offer’ by LAs that is, quite simply, wrong.

Schools have a duty to publish SEND Information on their websites, a good starting point may be by reviewing and refreshing the schools SEND policy in respect of the whole school category for SEN (SEN Support), including reference to the graduated approach to SEN in schools and what this looks like, whilst considering how school arrangements for SEND support secure outcomes for children and young people and not just ‘hours’ of support.

There is no such thing as a ‘school offer’. Most schools will already have on their websites most of the information required under the new CoP and associated regulations, it may however, need reframing in the new context of reform – that is all! This useful link shows which LAs have published Local Offers and those that are yet to provide any information - very interesting!

Watch this space…

Ultimately there is an awful lot of confusion and continued debate, one thing you can be certain of, however, is that SENCology will provide a balanced and factual view … more to follow on implementation and ways of working under new arrangements – follow the blog for continuing free ideas, support and guidance – and remember, although the SENCo job can be a lonely one at times – you are most certainly not alone!

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