Skip to content

Improvements happening to Provision Panel

In September and October 2022, we are reviewing how our provision panels work, for families who request specialist provision.

Recently we’ve become more and more concerned at the length of time that families are waiting for a confirmed start date in a special school. We recognise how much stress and worry it causes families and schools to live with uncertainty around timescales for a new school place to be available. We have been working hard on developing new specialist provision places over the last few years. To align with this and the new provision types available in Hertfordshire, we are reviewing our provision panels.

This work will identify next steps for those who have already been confirmed as meeting guidance for special school provision.

You should know:

  • This review is only of provision panel. It does not affect the decision making process of any other part of the Education, Health and Care Plan process.
  • Decision making around provision is still going ahead during the review. If you are awaiting a decision about provision during this time, we will keep you updated.
  • The review will not affect your statutory timeframes for your EHCP or cause delays. It is just a change to internal working processes.
  • If you are expecting a provision decision soon, you will be contacted after it has been made to discuss a pathway plan.

What this means for you

  • If your child is in their final year of a primary special school at the moment, we’re currently planning all moves to secondary. Children already in primary are prioritised for a secondary special school place unless parents want to move them back to mainstream. If you haven’t provided your preference of school through your last annual review, a letter will be coming out to you to ask for it.
  • If your child is currently in a mainstream school and you requested specialist provision to be considered late in the summer term or over the holidays, your request is being considered in September and we will be in touch with the outcome.
  • If you have been thinking about requesting specialist placement for your child, or you’ve requested a specialist placement since the end of the summer holidays, your request will be considered once our new panels start again in November. As all schools are currently full, waiting for the new panels in November does not affect the timeframes in which your child could move school. You will also benefit from the changes we’re making to panels (described below) which will give you much more certainty on next steps for your child than our previous panels have been able to give.
  • If you are currently on the Special Provision Referral List, professionals representing education, health and social care are meeting regularly to discuss a realistic pathway plan that addresses what provision your child or young person is suited for, and considering timeframes for when a place may be available at a relevant setting. The plans will be realistic about whether a suitable placement exists, and if it doesn't, will outline an alternative plan, so that there is always a positive way forward. Once we have a proposal for next steps, you will be contacted directly to discuss. This process is taking place between now and the end of October.

Why is it happening?

It is really important we deliver a fair, more transparent process, in line with SEN legislation and local guidance, so we can support children into the right pathways. Our current panels – which were designed at a time when special schools were not full, are not providing the certainty about next steps and leave families and schools waiting for too long for certainty over a school place. 

What does it involve?

We are looking at all the data available to us to see how we can be smarter about our internal working processes. 

Whilst we do this, provision panels in their existing format, have been paused. During this time, we are still making decisions on provision and meeting our statutory duties, but this will not be through a panel.

We are sure you will appreciate the urgent nature of this work, our commitment to supporting these children and families, and ensuring we get this right for children and families in the future by taking this time.

We hope this update provides some reassurance. We will update you in due course about how decisions will be made on placement from November.


Cookies

Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit AboutCookies.org.

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and we use 2 types of cookies:

Required functionality cookies – these cookies are essential for the website to work.

Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.


Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

NameTypeHow we use itHow long we use the information for

ASP.Net_Sessions

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

ServerID

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

_ga

Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years

saved-pages

Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month

geoPostcode

Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

geoCoordinates

Performance and feature

This stores your location as a pair of latitude / longitude coordinates.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

reckonerName-history

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of all answers submitted to the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

reckonerName-content

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of what content cards are clicked on when using the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

SQ_SYSTEM_SESSION

Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on eservices.hertfordshire.gov.uk

Just for the time you are on our website.


Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

Service namePurposeMore information

Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

Visit the Google Analytics website for more information about the cookies they use.

You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Google Translation - googtrans

This cookie is used to remember which language to translate each page into if you have chosen to do so.

It expires at the end of your browser session.

Bing

We use a Bing cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Bing to find out more about their cookies.

Google

We use a Google cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Google to find out more about their cookies.

Facebook

We have a number of presences on Facebook, which we may link to. Facebook may set some of its own cookies if you follow these links.

Visit Facebook to find out more about their cookies.

Twitter

We have a number of presences and feeds on Twitter, which you may wish to follow or read from this website. Twitter may set some of its own cookies.

Visit Twitter to find out more about their cookies.

YouTube

We have a YouTube channel, which we may link to. YouTube may set some of its own cookies if you follow those links.

Visit YouTube to find out more about their cookies.

Netloan

This ASP.NET_Sessionid cookie is essential for the Netloan secure online payments website to work, and is set when you arrive to the site. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser.

 

HotJar

This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.

Visit HotJar to find out more about their cookies.

Siteimprove

These cookies are set to help us report on how people are using the site so we can improve it.

Visit Siteimprove to learn more about their cookies.