Embedding SEND across services
New and existing staff will not just be placed within the school age SEND team - some of the EHC Coordinators will join other services (including Early Years, Services for Young People, Virtual Schools, Access and Inclusion). They will all have the same role and responsibility for EHCPs, but they will have direct access to specialist area knowledge that is relevant to the young people whose plans they manage.
This means the quality of the plans will be improved, and they will be more personalised to their young person, with specialised advice from area experts, who know the children and young people really well.
How will I know which service looks after my child's EHCP?
EHC Coordinators will still be responsible for children and young people's EHCPs. The team in which they are based may change, but that won't affect the support you would have as part of the process.
EHCPs of children who are of school age will sit within the school age SEND team. Some caseloads will be held by specialist areas, where a child or young person already has close involvement with that team, for example:
- Virtual School if the child is under the care of the local authority
- Services for Young People if the young person is aged 16+, and would benefit from expertise around transition and preparing for adulthood in the Plan (we are planning how transitions work at the moment, to ensure Plans get moved to this service ahead of year 9, when Preparing for Adulthood reviews happen).
- Access and Inclusion, in relevant provisions
- Early Years if the child is aged 0 - 5 years.
A skilled and highly knowledgeable workforce
As we welcome lots of new people, we want to make sure they are supported to be highly skilled in their roles as soon as possible. Therefore new (and current) staff will all have access to a high quality induction and ongoing training and support, through a newly developed programme we are calling the Hertfordshire SEND Academy. We expect new staff to be fully trained and able to take cases after 3 months.
The training will include the importance of responsive and regular communication with families, and effectively including the child’s voice in their Plans. We are involving parent/carers and children and young people in the design and delivery of key elements of the training.
- Across the end of 2023 we continue to develop the SEND Academy offer, and the recruitment drive begins.
- We are recruiting in phases, filling roles for certain services in each phase. We hope to have the first recruits starting with us as early as November, and fully trained by end of January.
- The timescale for allocating EHCPs to their new Coordinators is up to 3 months after new staff start, to allow for induction training. This means most EHCPs which are to be allocated to new specialist areas will happen from March / April 2024.
Would you like to know more?
This is an important change to improve the way we do things at the council - we want to make sure you understand the changes and have the information you need.
We will share more information with you when the work is further along. If you have any questions at all at this stage, please email SENDstrategy@hertfordshire.gov.uk. We will consider how to answer these as part of our next update.