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The DfE advises that where normal external support services may not be available from the local authority schools should consider different arrangements and consider using alternative organisations for support.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 has temporarily (until 25 September) changed the law on EHC plans meaning that local authorities now no longer have a duty to secure educational provision in accordance with the education, health and care (EHC) plan.  Instead they now have a duty to use their ‘best endeavours’ to do so.  This is likely to mean that there is an increased pressure on schools to fill the gap. The DfE guidance on the changes regarding EHC planscan be found here.

Questions for reps to ask:

  • Will individual risk assessments and discussion with parents/carers have taken place and been agreed by the date when extended opening begins, to ensure that any provision required by a child in order to attend school is safely in place?
  • Where LAs cannot, despite ‘best endeavours’ provide the support listed in an EHC plan can pupil safety in school be guaranteed? Eg behaviour support.
  • Will there be clear guidelines on entry to school about the procedures in place for essential visitors from external agencies visiting pupils at the school (eg educational psychologists, child and adult mental health services (CAMHS), behavioural support, advisory teachers etc)?
  • Will there be social distancing measures in place for visitors from external support agencies visiting pupils at school?
  • Will visitors working closely with pupils be offered PPE where necessary? 
  • If LAs cannot provide additional trauma support for pupils can another provider be quality assured and risk assessed in time for when the school beings to open more widely?

Are you satisfied that these issues have been considered and that measures covering these areas will be in place in time for extended opening.  Yes / No

On to checklist step 7