Temporary law change for Education Health and Care plans extended until 30 June
Friday 29th May 2020
Today, the Department for Education have announced that they intend to extend the temporary change in the law for Education Health and Care Plans until end of 30th June 2020.
The government first implemented temporary changes to the law regarding Education Health and Care (EHC) plans during the Coronavirus pandemic on the 1st May.
The changes means education and health support set out for a child with special educational needs (SEN) in an EHC plan, may be different for a period of time.
Local authorities and health providers will have to use "reasonable endeavours" to secure this support. This means that they do not have to do exactly what is detailed in the EHC plan if this is not possible during the Coronavirus outbreak. However they should try other ways of providing the support. For example, your child may be offered help virtually over the phone or online rather than face to face.
Amanda Batten CEO of Contact said: "The extension of the temporary change in law for EHC plans will be worrying for many families we support. In particular, there will be children encouraged to return to school this month without the support in their EHCP that enables them to access learning.
"We recognise that this is a difficult time for all parties, but we urge the Government to carefully monitor the impact the extension is having on the development and well-being of children with SEN and disabilities. It is equally important that key professionals in health and local government who have been re-deployed during the crisis, are able to return to their crucial roles supporting children with SEND as a matter of urgency. It is so important that disabled children are not further disadvantaged at this time. We have written to the Children's Minister, Vicky Ford alongside a number of other charities about our concerns."
Families needing advice about EHC plans or any aspect of their child's education, can contact our Freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 and speak to our education advisers. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with our helpline team via Live Chat, Facebook or Twitter.
Local authorities' duties to disabled children under the Children Act 1989 remain in place. These include the duties to assess and arrange provision to support disabled children's needs while they are under 18, and the needs of their carers.
More information can be found below:
- The Secretary of State notice modifying the duty to secure provision in EHC plans.
- Amendments to SEND regulations.