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COVID-19: SEND support and information

SEN legislation requirements remain unchanged during this time.

Children and young people with EHC Plans are expected to be in school unless it has been agreed for them not to attend.

For those not attending, ‘reasonable endeavours’ must be employed to ensure provision in EHCPs continues to be delivered.

EHC Needs Assessments

All statutory processes and timescales have returned to those outlined in the SEND Code of Practice.

However, government guidance relating to school closures and social distancing means that elements of the EHC Needs Assessment process may be different to usual.

Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment

If you would like to request an EHC Needs Assessment, please visit our Education, health and care (EHC) plan page.

For more information you can contact the Integrated SEND Service below:

All new requests will continue to be considered by the Local Authority within the six-week statutory timescale.

Decision making

Decision making meetings are currently being held virtually. The frequency of these meetings remains unchanged.

During the decision making process, the education, health and social care information submitted with the request will be reviewed.

Issuing Decisions and EHC Plan Co-production

If the decision is made not to issue an EHC Plan, this will be communicated to you and your setting by week 16 of the process.

Should an EHC Plan be deemed necessary, the EHCCo will work with you via telephonic/electronic means to draft the EHC Plan. The draft EHC Plan will then be sent to you and your child's setting electronically.

Annual Reviews

Where possible, annual review meetings are being held virtually. The Integrated SEND Service (iSEND) staff are available to help you arrange virtual meetings should you need any help.

Local Authority decision – following annual review

Annual reviews are continuing to be processed in a timely manner. Where this is not possible because of a reason related to COVID-19, this will be done as soon as is reasonably practical.

Local Authority - issuing letters/proposed amended plans

EHC Coordinators (EHCCo) will ensure proposed amended plans are sent to the agreed contact for each setting and parents/young people electronically.   

You will then have 15 days to respond if further amendments are required. We recognise, however, that absence because of illness and self-isolation may affect the speed with which you can reply. In such circumstances, you should contact your EHCCo about a possible delay in responding.

Short Breaks

Residential short breaks

Residential short breaks are being offered to all families who have packages of care with some families receiving reduced overnights to accommodate for smaller groups.

Targeted short breaks

Bucks Activity Project continues to offer services to children and young people that want to access and are processing new referrals.

  • Sessions are held in Covid secure environments and in line with government guidance.
  • Out and about community sessions include activities that are open for booking and that meet the children’s interests.
  • Session length varies from 2.25 to 6 hours depending on the needs of the young person or group of children and the activity.

Explaining COVID-19

Easy read posters

keepsafe.org have a whole range of easy read posters explaining lockdown, the vaccination groups and how to keep safe.

Help with home learning

Our SEND education resources page has a range of educational websites, apps and activities for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).