The ‘duty to secure special educational provision and health care provision in accordance with an EHC plan’ is about making sure that a child gets the support that’s set out in their EHC plan. Usually it’s the duty of local authorities and health services to set up or arrange the support your child gets and make sure it happens as it’s written in the plan.
The change in the law means that local authorities and health services now have a duty to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to do that. This has been reviewed every month by the Secretary of State for Education. This change in the law is now due to end on 1st August 2020. That means that from that date onwards the law returns to normal.
What does ‘reasonable endeavours’ mean?
Schools and colleges, the local authority and health services must think about individual children and young people with an EHC plan, and what their needs and situations are.
For some children, the support that’s in their EHC plan can still be given. However, for many children this won’t be the case and the support they have will need to be changed temporarily. Depending on what services are still available and in what form, it’s likely that your child will be given different support from what they would usually get in school or college.
As a parent, the best place to start the discussions about your child’s EHC plan support is with their school or college. If you need it, you can get help and advice from us
about how to do that, and what to talk about. Depending on how those discussions go, you may want to speak to your contact at the SEN 0-25 team too.
When the school, college, local authority or health service is looking at the support your child needs, and how that’s going to be given, they’ll think about:
- your child’s specific needs and what’s happening at home and school or college (if they are going in)
- social distancing and the guidelines for reducing the risk of spreading coronavirus
- what your child or young person thinks about the support they need and how that can be given
- whether services have the people and skills available to give the support
- where the support will be given – at home, in school, in a health clinic etc
- how often the support can be given and by who – staff may not be available as often as previously for example
- how support will be given – virtually rather than face to face or smaller groups for teaching (in line with the guidance on reducing the spread of coronavirus)
Here are a few examples of what might be ‘reasonable endeavour’:
- changes to how often your child has support and when – for example, having a part-time timetable
- temporarily being at another school – mainstream or special, with your agreement and your child’s or going to a local hub school
- video classes for children to keep in touch with their classmates and teaching staff
- a home learning reading programme
- specialist SEN teachers providing advice and support to parents
- speech and language sessions given via video link
Whatever temporary changes are made to the support set out in your child’s plan, a record should be made and talk to you about what they want to do and why. of them and you and your child should be included in the discussions.
Changes to support should also be regularly reviewed. Any changes made to your child’s support also must be done on an individual basis – the local authority or health service can’t make blanket policies that apply to everyone.