Assessments, placements, reviews, grades, transitions and advice from Kirklees College
Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP) assessment process and duties
- SENDACT (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Assessment and Commissioning Team) are working hard to maintain business as usual with requests for assessments and undertaking reviews.
- Applications for assessment via schools should be unaffected, even where schools are only partially open. Please contact school and discuss the request for assessment with the school SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator).
- Wherever possible, meetings such as annual reviews and support planning meetings, will be held using creative means. This will include some telephone and online meetings involving all professionals where available. Individual conversations will be had with those involved to decide how best to meet.
- The government have amended the timescales when completing assessments, however we aim only to apply these when we have to. A letter will be sent to all parents and young adults with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) explaining amendments to statutory duties related to COVID-19. Any impact on timescales as a result of COVID-19 will be discussed with parents individually.
- There are currently no delays in to decision making on new assessments and recommendations made from mediations being represented to the SEND Panel. SENDACT officers are unable to make independent decisions at mediation as this would sit outside of the multi-agency decision making panel process.
- SENDACT will contact you if anything impacts on the assessment for your child.
Visits to schools and naming of placements
- SENDACT always consider parental preference of education setting, with a view to naming a setting in line with this, unless it is felt that it is unsuitable to the child's age, ability, aptitude or SEN, or attendance would be incompatible with the efficient education of other children or use of resources.
- We appreciate it is difficult to express a preference on placement without visiting the school. We recommend speaking to potential schools to find out more information about them and what they offer in terms of SEND. Schools are finding creative methods for you to find out about them without physically having to visit.
- Where a preference is not received, by law, the local authority must specify a placement in order to secure an educational offer for your child. In this case we would look to consult for placement at an appropriate local school.
- There has been no change to the duty to undertake annual reviews. Education settings can make arrangements for this to be carried out in a safe and effective way based on your individual needs and circumstance.
- This means reviews may be held over the phone or over video call. Where it is safe and appropriate, the professionals involved in supporting children and young people with EHCPs have been taking part in meetings using these methods.
Neurodisability pathway assessments
- Face to face assessments are currently not available.
- The neurodevelopment team have been accepting new referrals, carrying out the initial screening and finishing off reports that were already in process.
- Staff have been unable to complete new assessments and may have been assigned to other CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) duties and providing advice and support to families.
- The team are looking at alternative ways of carrying out assessments to see if they can be done safely.
- Schools have been asked to submit lists to examination boards of the students they would have expected to achieve each grade. This will happen by the end of May. To do this, staff are using their professional expertise and work they already have from each student.
- Students will be rank ordered in each grade.
- Grades will then be moderated on the basis of young people's prior attainment and the school's previous performance.
- Moderation will be used to provide sets of grades for each student that will come out, as normal, on the GCSE results day in August.
- There will be the right of appeal and students will have the option of resitting in the Autumn term.
Transition between schools
- Whilst transition usually includes visits to new schools and meeting with new staff, under the current lockdown and social distancing arrangements this is not able to happen. However, schools can use technology to video call parents and pupils and to start to make those relationship connections.
- Schools and colleges are also able to conduct virtual tours round the building or area of learning and should be able to modify the experience for the needs of the pupil and their families.
Transition to college or further education
- The vast majority of children or young people with an EHCP have had their plans confirmed with a college named.
- A small proportion of plans have not yet had the placement named. There may be specific reasons for this. There is no change to the consultation process for a place or the duty to admit pupils with an EHCP when a placement is finalised in their plan. Work is ongoing with SENDACT to get these plans and placements finalised.
- SENDACT are asking the college or post-16 providers about their ability to meet the need and provision described within the EHCP. They are not consulting for a place on a particular course.
- Where acceptance to a course is subject to grades and these are not achieved, a conversation between the post-16 provider and the young person (supported by parent or carer as appropriate) will need to take place to determine an alternative course at that setting with the grade achieved.
- In some circumstances, where acceptance onto a particular course is conditional on grade, and it is identified in advance that an alternative offer would not be available at the same setting, SENDACT would name the setting but advise that this is dependent on prescribed entry criteria. In these instances we may consult with an alternative provider as a contingency and name only the type of setting within the EHCP.
- If grades are not achieved and an alternative course is not agreed through the named provider, SENDACT would look to secure an alternative through a further EHCP consultation.
Advice from Kirklees College
Where possible, Kirklees College are sending out offers based on the information we receive on the application form and reference. There are a few exceptions to this:
- Students with concerns identified in their reference, or big gaps in education, may be interviewed by curriculum over the phone
- Students who declare a criminal conviction will need to be assessed by the safeguarding team before the college can process their application (this happens during normal process)
- Students who have applied to foundation studies at Kirklees College usually would have an interview and assessment to work out what the best course is for them. For some pupils, this is not possible. The college has or will be named in the Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), but a specific course not identified. In the first few weeks there will be an induction or transition period to work out what the best course is for that student.
Tribunals and mediation meetings
If you have a concern we advise you to contact SENDACT to discuss it with an officer in the team. Where possible we always try to resolve concerns before going down the more formal routes.
- The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) is open. There are no changes to the tribunal process itself, but if a tribunal appeal reaches a hearing it will be held by video conference call.
- Mediation meeting are also being held by alternative means, such a telephone and video conference call.
Provision for children who are shielding
- We are currently looking to understand the Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) pupils who remain within the shielded category. Once we have this, we will work with schools and parents to consider the individual needs and provision of each child.
Contact the SENDACT team if you need further information: