Decision details

Education, Health and Care Assessment and Plan 2022-2023 - Progress update

Decision Maker: Scrutiny Committee - Children and Families

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Committee considered a report and received a presentation providing a progress update on Special education needs & disabilities (SEND) – improvement activity and Education, health and care plans (EHCP), providing a summary of the data, improvements, impact and ongoing challenges in relation to how the local area has continued to respond to delivering EHCP’s across Somerset since the reinspection of SEND services in November 2022. The Accelerated Progress Plan was signed off by the DfE in May 2023, there are monthly progress reports to the SEND Partnership Board, six-month reviews with DfE and NHSE.


The key headline is increase in numbers of plans and the number of annual reviews – there has been a decrease in number of tribunals registered (slide 5). Highlighted the situation re funding and placements and that following the recent funding consultation (presented to Scrutiny meeting in November ‘23) are developing proposals to allocate more high needs funding to schools without need for an EHCP and to make banding more equal between mainstream and special school (slide 6).


Highlighted position re SEND in Somerset schools (slide 7) and since 2018 there has been 2.6% increase in total pupil numbers and 78% increase in pupils in specialist settings.


Highlighted position re Annual Reviews / timeliness (slide 8) and referenced the LGCSO decision (slide 9). Performance against annual review timeliness will continue to challenge the LA as the number of EHC plans it needs to maintain continues to grow. The link to the Ombudsman report will be shared with the Committee.


The Committee agreed:

1.   To note the update on EHCPs and the ongoing challenges for teams across the Council and wider partners.

2.   To note the activities underway to support improvements:

      Annual Planning Meetings offered (and monitored) to every school across Somerset to identify children requiring support from specialist LA teams.

      Clarify expectations with schools to ensure that appropriate advice and support in advance of meeting.

      Notes the additional staff in place to process Annual Review reports in a timely way.

      The scrutiny committee to receive an update in 6 months on impact / uptake / number of reviews completed and so on (KPIs & training).


Report author: Dr Rob Hart

Publication date: 15/12/2023

Date of decision: 12/12/2023

Decided at meeting: 12/12/2023 - Scrutiny Committee - Children and Families

Accompanying Documents: