Shropshire Council

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SEN Update - Use of Reasonable Endeavours

11 June 2020 Last updated at 01:24

SEN Update: Use of Reasonable Endeavours

As a local authority we must consider, for each child and young person with an EHC plan, what can be reasonably provided in the circumstances during the notice period. For some individuals, this will mean that the provision specified in their plan can continue to be delivered; but for others, because of the impact of coronavirus, the provision may temporarily need to be different to that which is set out.

On 1 May 2020 a temporary change to section 42 of the Children and Families Act, as a result of the COVID pandemic, came into force which acknowledged that the statutory duty to deliver the provision identified within an EHCP may be difficult to fulfil due to school closures. Children and young people with an EHCP are all considered vulnerable and are therefore eligible to access their education within a school, college or early years setting; for some children schools will provide a necessary safe environment. However, where a risk assessment identifies that it is safe for a child to remain at home, and that this is in accordance with parental wishes, local authorities must use reasonable endeavours to deliver the specific provision within an EHCP. Where the education is delivered within school this means that schools must use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to deliver what is in the EHCP for each individual.

“The duty on early years providers, schools and colleges to co-operate with the local authority in the performance of its SEND duties remains in place. Close working and communication between all parties is a central element in ensuring that children and young people do receive appropriate provision.”

Provision therefore needs to be personalised to meet the needs of the individual, taking into account local context and family circumstance. It is expected that settings will liaise with parents with regard to how provision will differ and what will be put in place. Settings are expected to keep a record of what is being provided, beyond what is universally available to all children, and monitor the progress toward achieving outcomes.  

The template for recording needs to be saved in the pupil records and a copy and returned to the SEN Team (senteam@shropshire.gov.uk) at the end of each month.

A copy of the updated guidance, which includes suggested strategies can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-law-on-education-health-and-care-needs-assessments-and-plans-due-to-coronavirus/

Annual Reviews

The changes to legislation do not apply to annual reviews and it states that the requirements around annual reviews remain in place, though there is some increased flexibility.

“Annual reviews may, in the current circumstances, need to take a different form. However, it is important that they continue to ensure that the child or young person is at the centre of the process and can engage with the process in a meaningful way.  A review meeting, even if by necessity briefer than usual, can be reassuring for parents, children and young people, through ensuring that their EHC plan is up-to-date so that they can receive appropriate provision.”