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Scrutiny to look into children's support

Norfolk County Council, 18 January 2023 00:00

Work to support more than 8,000 children in Norfolk with education, health and care needs will be discussed by councillors next week.

Norfolk County Council's scrutiny committee will look into the authority's performance in handling education, health and care plans (EHCPs) - which set out how individual children will be supported.

A report to the committee says the percentage of school children with an EHCP is now increasing, in line with the national increase. The biggest increase is in numbers of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, speech, language and communication needs and social, emotional and mental health.

Councillor Steve Morphew, chair of the scrutiny committee, said: "EHCPs have been a source of serious concern for some time.

"Scrutiny members want to understand why a backlog developed, how that is being tackled, how the assessment system and appeals work and the impact on families with children with additional needs.

"Everybody wants the position to improve. To help with that, councillors need a better understanding. I know there is a lot of interest with inside and outside the council."

Education Health & Care Plans (EHCPs) describe the needs of individual children and young people and the support, provision and placement that they require to meet their education, health and care needs.

The statutory basis for EHCPs is set out in the Children & Families Act 2014 and related SEND Code of Practice and they cover people from birth to the age of 25.

Latest published figures show that Norfolk has 8,671 Education Health and Care plans, which is 4.1% of the school 5-18 cohort and compares to 4.0% nationally.

The Local Authority has direct responsibility for the assessment and reviews of EHCPs and to ensure that appropriate funding and provision is made, through a combination of delegated funding, direct funding and the commissioning of specialist placements and services.

Scrutiny will consider the report when it meets at 10am on Wednesday, January 26. Watch the meeting, live or afterwards, and read the report.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:44

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