WSS - EHCP Risk Assessment Guidance during Covid 19
Written by WSS Regional Leads Katherine Walsh and Amelie Thompson
At the moment we are all working on shifting sands. We are waiting, each day, to see if there is an update what happens next.
For SENDCos, the irony is that we are working in a way that we work to prevent our students from experiencing. We plan structure in each lesson, school outing, school day – we actively talk students through what will come next. We use visual timetables, now-next boards and social stories to provide structure – we can’t help but wish we had these resources for ourselves in this current situation!
At Whole School SEND, we want to be able to support school leaders, including SENDCos, as we work through these unprecedented times. Over the coming weeks, we will be publishing blogs from our regional team and consortium partners with practical tips and templates to support SENDCos, in their individual schools, across England.
The Whole School SEND Consortium brings together schools, organisations and individuals who are committed to ensuring that every child and young person with SEND can maximise their potential. Each region has a Regional SEND team, formed from school-based SEND practitioners, to support prioritisation of SEND across the region:
Dominic Wall RSL.NORTH@wholeschoolsend.com
Rachel Hargreaves DRSL.NORTH@wholeschoolsend.com
Lancashire and West Yorkshire:
Angela Holdsworth RSL.LWY@wholeschoolsend.com
East Midlands, South Yorkshire and the Humber:
Judith Smith RSL.EMSYH@wholeschoolsend.com
Jane Starbuck DRSL.EMSYH@wholeschoolsend.com
Nicola Davis RSL.WM@wholeschoolsend.com
Amanda Wright DRSL.WM@wholeschoolsend.com
South Central England and Northwest London:
Katherine Walsh RSL.SCNWLON@wholeschoolsend.com
Matt McArthur DRSL.SCNWLON@wholeschoolsend.com
Southeast England and South London:
Amelie Thompson RSL.SESLON@wholeschoolsend.com
Tina Harvey DRSL.SESLON@wholeschoolsend.com
East of England and Northeast London:
Sally Cass DRSL.ENELON@wholeschoolsend.com
Erica Wolstenholme RSL.SW@wholeschoolsend.com
Join our Community of Practice
If you’d like to join the Community of Practice and be kept up to date with developments within the consortium, gain access to free CPD events and resources, and be part of a network of like-minded practitioners then please sign up now.
On 19th April, the Department for Education released guidance on SEND Risk assessments. The risk assessments are to determine whether children and young people with SEND will be able to have their needs met at home, and be safer there than attending an educational setting.
The guidance states:
- local authorities and educational settings should decide together who is best placed to undertake the risk assessment
- parents/carers and the child/young person should be consulted as part of the risk assessment
- DfE recognise that some local authorities and educational settings will have already undertaken risk assessments for many vulnerable children and young people and taken decisions on appropriate provision - there is no need to re-do these because this guidance has been issued.
Whilst there is not a need to re-do risk assessments, it is important that we continue to monitor how children and young people are coping at home. Risk assessments should be live documents, and if the needs of the child changes, a risk assessment should be completed again to ensure the child/young person is accessing learning in the setting they are safer, either at home or at school.
To support SENDCos, we have drafted a template that can be used to complete SEND Risk Assessments, in line with the guidance published on 19 April. We have also made available two completed SEND Risk Assessments, which we are sharing as worked examples. Schools and Local Authorities may need to add additional information or points to consider, based on local guidance, but we hope this template is a useful tool to support SENDCos, schools and local authorities in completing comprehensive, on-going risk assessments:
If you have further questions, you are welcome to email WSS Regional Lead for South Central England and North West London, Katherine Walsh, and WSS Regional Lead for South East England and South London, Amelie Thompson.
Whole School SEND
Whole School SEND is a community of practice bringing together over 4000 schools, practitioners, parents and third sector organisations, committed to improving outcomes for learners with SEND. It is hosted by nasen and draws together work funded by the Department for Education and other investors.Find out more about the Whole School SEND See all Whole School SEND documents on the gateway