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Reply To: EHCP SLT report

Patricia Ruth Howes

Hi Gillian,
I worked in a district with something similar, but it is some time ago.It was called Action Plus (EY and School Action Plus) and was there to give support for a year or so and potentially avoid formal statutary process. I was going to reply to this when you posted before, but couldn’t remember the name and it was Action Plus in our district. I guess it saved the council money in process, the school liked it and in a way it was gathering evidence very speicifically over the year before the statutary assessment – and lots of children with DLD got some help who might have been turned down in the formal process (or it would take ages to get the help). It got axed as it cost too much or something. It was very populr in EY settings but we did have it in schools too. Got to say the report writing load on the SLT went up dramatically – we seemed to be the ‘go to’ people to write the report to access the funding.

I ended up on the ‘panel’ which decided whether the ‘in between’ funding was given.- an MDT panel of EP, teachers, OTs and officers. It was rigorous and was all about ensuring schools had actually done the required period of putting measures to help in place before going straight for statutary assessment. Schools have plans and goals in place but are not always monitoring these effectively and if they couldn’t prove this they didn’t get additional funding.

As a parent I’d get the support in place BUT be ‘on top of it’ re the process and any need to bring in formal assessment so this ‘in between’ approach didn’t result in a gap at any point. It is exhausting for families, who often feel there is a hidden agenda to avoid statutary assessment. And yes, it saves money on process and the authority might have a target to reduce no of formal assessments. Yet this one is still giving the money – and that isn’t the case everywhere. It is about always being cautious as a parent and risk assessing every step – this might be ok.

Best Wishes, Ruth