EHCP process during COVID:
The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is continuing to provide psychological advice within a timely manner and taking all practical steps to ensure that advice is as comprehensive and robust as possible in the current circumstances. There will be a small minority of cases, whereby advice is limited by the current situation (i.e. social distancing measures and part school closures) however measures have been taken to ensure that outcomes are not adversely affected by the current situation. Strict protocols are followed to minimise and mitigate risk when it is agreed necessary by all parties that face-to-face work needs to be undertaken.
Kingston and Richmond is aided by the fact that the majority of schools purchase additional time from the EPS and do involve EPs in early intervention. As such when requests for EHC need assessments are made, in many cases there has been comprehensive EP involvement over time and this has involved any necessary direct work with children and young people.
Response to COVID:
The EPS has been working to support and mitigate Covid-19 related issues.
Particular areas of focus include:
The support required for particular vulnerable groups such as;
(i) those previously considered emotionally-related school non-attenders;
(ii) children and young people with additional needs;
(iii) children and young people with social communication and interaction difficulties;
(iv) children and young people in care;
(v) children and young people with SEMH needs;
(vi) children and young people with complex needs
and not forgetting school staff
- supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of school communities (including schools to become more trauma-informed in their approach and practice going forward)
- providing support to schools in the event of a critical incident – systemic support
- providing bereavement support to school communities where needed
It is important to note, that as a service there is a significant focus on what can be done now, to prevent and mitigate, as well as planning for the necessary future support.