Phase Transfers refers to all children and young people who are due to move from one ‘phase’ of education to another. This includes children moving from nursery to primary school, primary to secondary school, and secondary school to post-16 education. The local authority must ensure that children and young people with an EHC plan have the name of their destination school or setting named in the EHC plan by the relevant national deadline.
Year 11 and school leavers: the SENSAP team successfully achieved over 75% of EHC plans on time by 31 March 2023. We are expecting to achieve 98%+ by the end of April. Thank you to all the secondary schools, colleges and other providers who helped us to achieve this huge piece of work.
Nursery and Year 6 children: Thanks to a huge effort by SENSAP officers, we achieved 90%+ of the 15 February deadline for these groups of children. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond the local authority’s control, we weren’t able to name a school for a number of children. Officers have been working tirelessly in the background to secure appropriate destinations for these families, and have now been able to make an offer for the vast majority of these children. We are still working hard behind the scenes to finish a small number of cases that do not yet have a school named.
Assessment Recovery Project (ARP)
Earlier this year we launched the ARP to help tackle a backlog of new EHC assessments that the local authority had accumulated throughout 2022. We have three highly skilled and experienced officers working full time to ensure that EHC assessments are completed as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.
Here are some key updates:
- We have completed over 65% of the backlog since Christmas. Of the remaining cases, most of these are now at the very final stages of assessment.
- The ARP officers are way ahead of the expected targets in getting assessments written up into Draft EHC plans. The vast majority of children and young people whose assessments were delayed, now have a Draft or Final EHC plan.
- We are slightly behind on our target of completing all the outstanding decisions of whether or not to conduct EHC assessments, due to unforeseen circumstances.
Overall, we are pleased that the ARP is continuing to work at significant pace, whilst also maintaining quality and consistency of the assessments and plans. ARP officers are contacting families and schools directly when work begins on their child’s case, and they will remain involved until the EHC plan is finalised, or the assessment is concluded. We are aiming to fully complete the ARP and all the backlog assessments at the very latest by the summer holidays.
We want to say a huge thank you for your patience and understanding whilst we’ve been working through the backlog. We agree that having a backlog at all is an unacceptable position to be in, and we are doing everything we can to avoid a similar situation occurring again in the future.
We know that many of you have struggled to get in touch with the right person at the right time. We’ve been working closely with our Business Administration Service (BAS) colleagues who maintain our phonelines and team inboxes.
Phones: Those of you who have called recently may have noticed a change in options on the phone. BAS have recently moved over to a new operating system, which allows us greater opportunities to track calls, look at important data and improve the timeliness and rate of call answering. Since implementing the new system we’ve noticed that there has been a sharp drop in the number of people raising issues with not being able to get through to us. We’re really keen to hear any feedback on the new system, so please do let us know.
Emails: We are continuing to receive a significant number of emails both to the general inbox and directly to officers. We are doing our best to ensure timely responses, but are struggling to keep on top of the amount of incoming messages. We would be grateful if you can help us by following these tips:
- Finding information: Checking the Leeds Local Offer for any general queries, before contacting us. The Local Offer is a directory of all Leeds SEN services, processes and pathways for children and young people with SEN aged 0-25.
- Emailing the team: If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can email the general team inbox: SENSAP@leeds.gov.uk and they will either respond with the information you need or refer your message onto the most appropriate person.
- Emailing officers directly: If you know the contact details of the person you need to speak to, please email them directly. There is not usually any need to copy the SENSAP inbox, or another officer, into your email.
Please note that we have a standard 5-day response policy for contact by both email and phone. If you call or email repeatedly within the 5-day period, it is unlikely going to lead to a speedier response; please bear with us and we will get back to you ASAP.
Zero tolerance policy: Unfortunately, we are still receiving a number of contacts each week which have led to unacceptable abuse and aggression toward local authority staff. The council has a zero tolerance policy toward these types of behaviours. Any phone call, email or other contact with an officer which involves inappropriate language or behaviour will be immediately terminated. In extreme or repeated circumstances, further action may be taken by the council’s legal department. We are pleased to report that the majority of our contact with families and schools/settings continues to be productive and positive, and we want to thank you for working with us collaboratively despite often difficult circumstances.
If you have any questions please contact the admin team using the details below:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 0113 3785256
Original article: https://leedslocaloffer.org.uk/#!/model/page/service/34285