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SEND back to normal - maybe not yet...
(Note that in the fast moving world of SEND and Covid-19, the information below is correct as of 25 September 2020)
The Special Educational Needs and Disability (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations2020 came into force on 1 May 2020 with implications for children and young adults with SEND. The Regulations are in place until 25 September 2020. It is unclear whether further regulations around SEND will follow. The government has made it clear that children and young adults are to return to education as a priority. Minister Ford wrote to families and young people with SEND on 2 September 2020.
“Returning to education is vital for the education of all children and for their wellbeing – time out of school is detrimental for children’s development, particularly for disadvantaged and vulnerable children. All children and young people value the structure and routine of regular attendance as well as the support and strong positive relationships provided by their school or college. It is critical that all children can once again benefit from a full time five day a week on-site education.”
The 2020 Regulations permitted the Secretary of State to issue notices to reduce the absolute duty on Local Authorities (LA) to make provision in an EHCP, to ‘reasonable endeavours’. Monthly notices were triggered in succession from May to 31 July 2020. No further notices have been issued in this respect. This means that from the start of the new school year, LAs are required to deliver provision set out in an EHCP.
The other change, the relaxation of time periods set out in the SEND Regulations 2014 where it is not reasonably practicable to meet time requirements for coronavirus related reasons, instead changing time periods to ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ ends on 25 September 2020 – subject to new legislation.
We wrote about the changes here.
This means that LAs and statutory bodies must adhere to timetables set out in the SEND Regulations for EHC needs assessments, Annual Reviews, mediation prior to lodging an appeal, SEND Tribunal appeals etc.
That means that we should be going back to normal…but SEND practitioners are now used to seeing new law and guidance coming out at the eleventh hour. We shall see.
The Boyes Turner Education Team is working remotely during this time and fully able to continue with new enquiries. We can help at whatever stage you are with your EHCP and can be contacted on 0118 952 7219 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
I am so happy at the outcome, I don't think we would have had such a comprehensive service from any other law firm, and you took the worry away...I do not regret a single second of the whole process, apart from the bit before you got involved.
James' mother, Boyes Turner client