Councils in England are struggling to assess the level of support children with special educational needs require because of a shortage of educational psychologists, with the start of the school year just days away.
Education, health and care plans (EHCPs) set out the extra provision that children with high special educational needs and disabilities (Send) are legally entitled to. To decide whether to provide an EHCP, and what should go in it, councils must carry out an assessment, sourcing advice and information from an educational psychologist.
But a letter sent to parents this month by North Yorkshire county council indicates that most local authorities in England do not have enough of these specialists to provide essential reports. The letter said the council was “currently experiencing significant difficulties” completing assessments within the statutory limit of 20 weeks.
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