Question: My LA (which is a Pathfinder) says that based on what they have discovered so far they cannot afford to give all children with a statement a new EHC plan. How will they decide who gets them and who doesn't?
IPSEA’s answer: We are hearing similar things, although we are also being assured by the Government that this is not their intention. What we’ve heard from local authorities amounts to two different effects caused by the switch to Plans coupled with the reductions in LAs’ budgets:
1. To move all children currently with statements on to Plans would mean reassessment, and they can’t afford that many reassessments (nor have they got the staff to do it).
2. They are considering their own local thresholds for Plans to reduce the need for them because of the effects of the cuts.The second of these would mean that far fewer children are assessed for Plans in the future. Together with the removal of the duty on LAs to respond to a parent’s / school’s request for assessment, this may mean that far fewer children have their difficulties identified properly and therefore many more will miss out on the help they need.