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An update on the EHCP Improvements projects

Published October 2021

Our Statutory SEND Service in Hertfordshire has been working hard on projects that will help improve the experiences of the EHCP process for families and schools. They are also introducing new systems which are designed to ensure the high quality of plans and provision for SEND children and young people. 

In this blog post we'll update you on the the progress we have made on our EHCP projects since our last update (for a reminder on those view our previous blog post on the EHCP projects). We'll give you more detail about new projects we have introduced too.

Focus on processing Annual Reviews within statutory timescales

In the last few years, we haven’t always been able to process EHC plan reviews in a timely way.   We know that this has been incredibly frustrating for families and we have been working hard to get all of last year's reviews processed, and to change the way we are working in order to ensure that reviews do not build up again.  

From September all reviews will go first to a dedicated Annual Review team.  This team operates a triage system, processing the more straight-forward reviews quickly whilst sending the more complex cases to SEND officers in area teams.  This new system will give SEND officers the opportunity to focus on working with schools and families and ensure provision is appropriate, and will mean that most review paperwork will be turned around much more quickly.  

We still have some way to go before the backlog is completely clear, but we have a dedicated team who are working very hard to do this as quickly as possible and over the summer months we've seen a 20% improvement in reviews being processed within timescales.  We're monitoring the status of reviews really closely to ensure that the new processes are working well so that we avoid a similar backlog in the future. 



Continuing to improve the quality of EHCPs

Feedback has taught us that there has been inconsistency in the content of  EHCPs and that in some cases, the quality of the EHCPs has not been at the level we expect.

To address this issue, we are developing rolling training plans for SEND professionals contributing to the EHCP process.  Throughout the summer there was a big focus on developing our usage of our case management systems to ensure we can get good quality information about all the children in Hertfordshire with an EHCP.  This term we're focussing on training for SEND services around legal requirements and responsibililties, working with families and young people, and ensuring and monitoring quality of casework.  This will include educating key partners and professionals in the expectations around the content of EHCPs to ensure that each child's EHCP is of high quality, and contains information that is accurate, relevant and up-to-date.



These new initiatives are part of our long-term plans to improve EHCP processes and systems, and consequently make a difference to the quality of the plans and provision for SEND children in Hertfordshire.  We will continue to review the changes we are making and monitor the impact they are having.  All of our projects are co-produced with HPCI, and we encourage feedback from all of our partners on the new initiatives.  We welcome feedback from parents about their experience of any of the changes we've implemented so far, and the impact they have had on their child's SEND provision.  Please email sendstrategy@hertfordshire.gov.uk 

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