More education health and care assessments in Walsall are completed within twenty weeks
Cabinet members applauded the council’s work to improve the timeliness of education, health and care (EHC) assessments at a meeting last week.
The Cabinet meeting took place on Wednesday 7 February 2024, and discussed the council’s performance against its corporate Council Plan, describing key successes during 2022/2023.
A key marker of success discussed by members was the council’s work to complete more EHC assessments and plans within the statutory 20-week timeframe.
An EHC plan is for children and young people who need more support than what is available through special educational needs support. EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs, and set out what support will be provided to meet those needs for children.
Local authorities are responsible for producing a draft and final EHC plan, in consultation with parents, carers and education providers, within 20 weeks from the date they receive the request for the assessment.
In 2022, 8.5 percent of EHC assessments were completed within the specified timeframe in Walsall. Significant work was undertaken to streamline the process and timeliness of decisions during 2023, and early data shows that from July-September in 2023, 82 percent of EHC assessments were completed within 20 weeks.
“ Timely completion of EHC plans has been a tricky and challenging predicament over many, many years, and this is against a backdrop of a 14 percent increase of demand and a backlog of requests.
Now, having improved the timeliness so significantly, we find ourselves in a really good position, which would not only put us in the top 5 percent in the country, but will have such positive and direct impacts upon children and young people in Walsall.
EHC plans are there to ensure that those children who need more support are getting it, at the right time from the right people and organisations, to support their learning and development.
The inclusion team who have worked so hard to deliver these successes deserve all the commendations we can give them in terms of their robustness, professionalism and dedication, and we’re now moving forward positively to maintain these figures. “