9th June 2020 Updates on Reasonable Endeavours and Direct Payments

There are 2 things covered in this email – update of return to school with reasonable endeavours and new guidance on Direct Payments including local Hertfordshire decisions.

  1. Returning to school and college

It is clear from news items today and an expected announcement from the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson that the government is dropping plans for all primary school children to be back in school this term and secondary pupils and colleges are unlikely to return until September or even later.  This means that for the majority of children and young people being educated from home will continue.
Reasonable Endeavours – a temporary legal change affecting children and young people with an EHC plan (about 7,500 in Hertfordshire) was enacted by the government at the beginning of May for a month and is continuing now until the 30th June.  The government will review it each month and decide whether to continue it for the subsequent month.  With the decision to delay return to school HPCI feels it is very likely that reasonable endeavours will apply in July and possibly beyond.

Communication error in Herts 

HPCI worked with the LA on the reasonable endeavours leaflet sent to schools which was sent out to schools just as the government extended the deadline for reasonable endeavours to June 30th but not in time to amend the leaflet.  The leaflet contains the September 25th date also which is when the easing of the timescales for some aspects of the EHCP process is currently due to end.
The Local Offer website has been corrected to add in the June 30th date around reasonable endeavours and we are requesting and working with them on an adjustment to the leaflet to make it clearer.
The item and the leaflet can be found on the SEND Local Offer
If your child has an EHC plan and you are not happy with what is being offered for your child and you are unable to reach an agreement with your child’s school/setting then you need to contact your child’s SEN Officer.  They will then ask the HCC Integrated Services for Learning team in your area to help you and the setting reach an agreement.  If that doesn’t work then a review of your child’s plan will take place.

2. Direct Payments

Some of you receive direct payments for your child or young person and there have been a number of queries and issues raised with HPCI around this which we have discussed with HCC and they have produced an update in the form of FAQs – frequently asked questions – which you can download via the SEND Local Offer website at the link below.
https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/microsites/local-offer/coronavirus-updates.aspx