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Further concerns regarding SEN reforms

2 September 2016

A recent survey by the Association of Educational Psychologists has reported that the timescales for full implementation of the new SEND framework may miss the deadline of April 2018 – the date by which all SEN statements should be replaced by a new Education Health and Care Plan. The responses to the survey have indicated that a third of local authorities are likely to miss this deadline given the increased demands being placed on educational psychologists, who have a legal role in EHC needs assessments.

The report also stated that over 90% of education psychologists had reported increased demand for their services with over 65% stating there were vacancies within their service at present. Any delay will cause additional concerns to pupils, parents, local authorities and schools who will want the certainty that the single SEND system will bring.

Whilst the report will be mainly of concern to local authorities, schools have an important role in requesting EHC needs assessments and assisting with transitions from SEN statements to EHC plans. Schools should liaise with local authorities to ensure progress is made on such issues in line with the DfE guidance and SEND Code of Practice.

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