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) as some direct assessments with children and young people, e.g. standardised assessments, are unable to take place. In these cases, EPs are being explicit about what is required as soon as practically possible, and the measures that will be taken at that time.
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, as well as plan to provide the necessary support when social distancing measures are relaxed and schools return.
The current areas of focus include:
the support required for those that are likely to find the return to school a challenging one Focus on particular vulnerable groups such as;
(i) those previously considered emotionally-related school non-attenders;
(ii) CYP with additional needs;
(iii) CYP with social communication and interaction difficulties;
(iv) CYP in care;
(v) CYP with SEMH needs;
(vi) CYP with complex needs
and not forgetting school staff
- supporting those who are at transition points (i.e. pre-school – Reception; Year 6 – Year 7; and Post 16 - beyond), meaning that they have not been able to experience a proper ‘ending’ to their previous education/setting, as well as experience the usual array of transition activities to facilitate a positive and supportive beginning to their next phrase
- 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
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.