Education Health Care Needs Assessments (EHCNA) and Provision of Educational Psychology Statutory Advice
Over the last few months we have experienced an unprecedented high demand for EHC Needs Assessments in Staffordshire. This demand is reflected nationally across all Local Authorities. Our team are working hard to ensure that all children and young people undergoing an EHC Needs Assessment are assessed by an Educational Psychologist registered with the Health Care Professionals Council as quickly as possible. However, given this unprecedented demand, we are experiencing some delays in allocating Educational Psychologists. Regrettably, this is delaying the completion of some assessments within the prescribed statutory timescale. I would want to reassure parents, carers and educational settings that addressing this challenge is a priority for the team and we have taken the following exceptional steps.
In order to meet this unprecedented demand, the Educational Psychology Service (EP Service) has, in the short term, dramatically increased their capacity through employing a team of Associate Educational Psychologists who will specifically undertake these assessments. Associate Educational Psychologists are fully qualified and registered Educational Psychologists and are supporting our Local Authority EP Service at this challenging time. In order to address this demand in the longer term, we have secured a further 10 Educational Psychologist posts. This represents a 44% increase in the capacity of our EP Service. I am pleased to say that recruitment is already underway and we hope to have these additional colleagues in post shortly.
Despite these steps, it is possible that there may be a delay in the assessment process for some children and young people. For this, I am sincerely sorry. However, I can assure you that we are doing everything that is possible to address this challenge. I have asked the Educational Psychology Service and SEND Teams to ensure they maintain close contact with families and settings so that we share progress in the assessment process.
Dr Halit Hulusi
Head of SEND- Staffordshire County Council