13th February 2018

Local authorities to benefit from £29 million of SEND implementation funding

Councils in England have now been allocated their share[1] of the additional £29 million of Department for Education (DfE) funding announced at the end of last year to help them meet the statutory requirements of the Children and Families Act (2014) and the SEN Code of Practice (2014).

The cash injection will boost local authority SEND services with much needed support at a time when teams are assessing more and more children and young people and struggling to ensure a robust review process for thousands of Statements to Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans[2]. It will also present local authorities with greater opportunities to invest in service change, as they continue to roll out digital technologies to help them manage EHC pathways in a more sustainable, efficient manner.

Idox’s Open Objects has responded to the announcement of the package, calling it a milestone moment. Working with professionals across education, health and social care – as well as parents, carers and young people – the team has developed the EHC Hub. Providing a secure, online platform that enables professionals, families and young people to co-produce plans, the Hub ensures multi-agency engagement at every stage and supports better outcomes for a real service change. The EHC Hub directly addresses the underlying driver of the SEND Code to put the child or young person at the heart of the process – also a priority for Ofsted.

Gavin Cameron, Managing Director of Open Objects said: “The allocation of additional funding is a catalyst for change in SEND services, and presents a real opportunity for councils to create long-term sustainability in the EHC planning system.”

“Engaging with stakeholders has allowed us to provide the digital tools needed to help teams work more efficiently and for all young people and families to follow the progress of their plan online. Our EHC Hub can be a real catalyst for digital transformation – local authorities coming on board over the next couple of months will also be on track to pilot cases and rollout wider in time for the September 2018 school term.”

For more information about the EHC Hub and how it can support your services, call 01223 422200 or complete the form and one of the Open Objects team will be in touch.

[1] Additional information on the SEND implementation grant: allocations for 2018 to 2019 can be found here.

[2] 12.1% growth nationally in the year to Jan 2017. More about the growth of EHC plan numbers can be found here.