STEP FOUR: ACTIONING
This step of an EHCP journey is when the plan is put into action and the support in it carried out.
WHAT DID PARENTS TELL US ABOUT ACTIONING?
What this step involves
- Delivering the provision set out in the plan
- The child/young person being in the placement named and receiving the support outlined in the plan
- Working towards and monitoring of the outcomes set out in the plan
What the code of practice says
Click here to read the document online
Where a nursery, school or college (of a type identified in paragraph 9.78) is named in an EHC plan, they must admit the child or young person. The headteacher or principal of the school, college or other institution named in the EHC plan should ensure that those teaching or working with the child or young person are aware of their needs and have arrangements in place to meet them. Institutions should also ensure that teachers and lecturers monitor and review the child or young person’s progress during the course of a year.
When an EHC plan is maintained for a child or young person the local authority must secure the special educational provision specified in the plan. If a local authority names an independent school or independent college in the plan as special educational provision it must also meet the costs of the fees, including any boarding and lodging where relevant.
For social care provision specified in the plan, existing duties on social care services to assess and provide for the needs of disabled children and young people under the Children Act 1989 continue to apply. Where the local authority decides it is necessary to make provision for a disabled child or young person under 18 pursuant to Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Person Act (CSDPA) 1970, the local authority must identify which provision is made under section 2 of the CSDPA. The local authority must specify that provision in section H1 of the EHC plan. It must secure that provision because under Section 2 of the CSDPA there is a duty to provide the services assessed by the local authority as being needed.
For health care provision specified in the EHC plan, the CCG (or where relevant NHS England) must ensure that it is made available to the child or young person. The joint arrangements underpinning the plan will include agreement between the partners of their respective responsibilities for funding the arrangements, to ensure that the services specified are commissioned. CCGs will need therefore to satisfy themselves that the arrangements they have in place for participating in the development of EHC plans include a mechanism for agreeing the health provision, which would usually be delegated to the relevant health professionals commissioned by the CCG. CCGs may however wish to have more formal oversight arrangements for all EHC plans to which they are a party.
Family stories …
Parents want …
Their experience of putting the plan into action is positive when:
- the plan has clearly specified actions and resources
- support is quickly put in place
- support addresses pastoral needs and life skills as well as educational issues
- the plan triggers additional support and advice for the family via other routes
Plans fit for purpose
They realise that the plan does not effectively set out what needs to happen and/or what should be provided for the child/young person at nursery, school, or college
There are examples of schools not accepting the advice on the plan or disagreeing with the LA
Placements named are re-assessing the child’s needs to determine the support required
There are a lack of appropriate placements and support to meet the wide range of SEND needs. This leaves parents wondering if the placement suggested is the best one for their child or just what is available or affordable
When there is no suitable maintained provision in the area this leads to discussions about non-maintained schools or out of borough provision
Children are missing out on education if suitable provision cannot be secured or found.
Enforcement and Accountability
They do not know who is responsible for ensuring the plan is delivered
They assume it is or rely on their child’s feedback
Regular communication and meetings are a way to check this
No negotiation post sign-off
There can be further discussion and negotiation after the plan is signed. This may be between the family and LA/school; between the LA and placement provider; or between the LA and other providers of support set out in the plan. It can lead to delay, confusion and concern.
Schools named in the plan are refusing to accept the child/young person or realising after sign-off that they are unable to meet their needs.
Parents are still not clear what resources and provision the child/young person will receive and how they will know that they are being supported in the way the plan states.
There can still be disagreements around funding support or placement after sign-off.
Staff needed to deliver support are not always in post and so there can be delays while they are recruited and/or trained.
There is a tension between funds available and meeting the child’s needs. Parents are being involved in discussions about funding availability
There are cross boundary issues commissioning support in some areas
Independent schools are known to have additional funding implications and so parents are being deterred from/refused places at them, even when they seem the most suitable
Securing the required provision leads to delays in implementing the plan.
Support set out in the plan can be specific to an individual school (such as a particular approach to improving reading, or support staff available) so does not transfer to a new placement
The plan focuses on educational issues. Other barriers to achievement remain.
The support provided at school e.g. behaviour management strategies are not aligned with those provided to the family outside of education. This means strategies to support the family are not being implemented in the same way at school and vice versa.