Somerset County Council and NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group are working in partnership to improve Somerset’s services for children and young people (aged 0 to 25) with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). The work taking place is outlined within the Written Statement of Action (WSoA) and divided into Improvement Priority (IP) areas.

Improvement Priority 8  - Speed up the EHCP process

What is Improvement Priority 8 and why does it matter? 

Improvement Priority 8 (IP8) is about making sure that the local area is working together to improve the timescales in relation to Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessments and the issuing of EHC plans.

What are we aiming for? 

All people who need to take part in Education, Health and Care assessments know what they need to do, the timescales that need to be met and as a result the timeliness in terms of issuing finalised EHC Plans will improve.

What is being done to make this happen? 

We are:

  • Looking at how well all the people involved in EHC assessments understand what needs to happen with assessments and Annual Reviews.
  • Working to understand the reasons for the increase in EHC assessment requests, how robust the decision making is, and what support is available to people when the LA decides that an EHC assessment/plan is not necessary.
  • Testing out “Outcome and Provision” meetings with the people who contribute to the EHC Assessment including the Statutory SEN Officer, families/children and young people and the setting the child attends to improve the way that EHC plans are written.
  • Making sure that 100% of plans are reflective of the views of children/young people and their families because they had the right opportunity to input into the assessment.
  • Creating reports to let us know how well we are all doing in submitting our advice to the Statutory SEND team within 6 weeks, because this will help make sure that the EHC plans are issued within the 20 week timescale.

What has been done so far? 

  • Invested in the Statutory SEND team and the structure of the team, including increased senior officers and a role for a learning and development officer.
  • Started to test out the “Outcome and Provision meetings” with a small number of children and young people.
  • Developed the Citizens Portal to make sure families can submit their input to the EHC plan via the SEND Portal.
  • Produced a report which helps partners to know how good they are at submitting their advice in time.
  • Improved 20 week performance on a month by month basis.

Who is involved? 

The Statutory SEND Team are working with, Somerset Parent Carer Forum, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and health providers, Children’s Social Care, School SENCOS, Educational Psychology, and the ICT Support Team.

Where can I find out more? 

SEND News – Sign up to our newsletter for weekly SEND news updates during term time for SEND improvement updates, parent carer and youth voice engagement and events or activities.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about IP8 work please contact SENDImprovement1@Somerset.gov.uk

If you have any questions about your EHC assessment or plan please see Supporting families with EHC plans for who to contact.