Shropshire Council

DfE announce the notice to modify the duty for LAs to secure or arrange provision in EHCPs has now expired.

17 August 2020 Last updated at 03:06

On Friday 1st May 2020, temporary legislation came into effect surrounding SEND duties during the coronavirus pandemic.  There were 2 main changes to ‘SEND’ duties;

Change 1 - a new exemption to the 20 week Education Health and Care Needs Assessment timescale will be permitted due to issues relating to Coronavirus.

Change 2 - the duty to secure or arrange special educational provision and health care provision in EHC plans is temporarily modified to a duty to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to do so.

The Department of Education (DfE) announced on 31st July 2020 that the notice modifying the duty on local authorities to secure or arrange the special educational and health care provision specified in children and young people’s Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) has now expired. 

The focus will be on supporting local authorities, health commissioning bodies and education settings as they work towards full provision being restored for all children and young people with EHCPs when they return to school in September.

The Government has decided that the temporary changes to the law to give Local Authorities flexibility on the statutory timescales for EHC needs assessments will expire on 25 September 2020.  The LA will no longer be able to rely on the coronavirus exception contained in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 after 25 September (when the Regulations expire). Any cases where the Local Authority are currently relying on the coronavirus exception to extend the timescale will need to be completed before the Regulations expire and the timescales revert to the usual statutory deadline (e.g. 6 weeks for needs assessments, 6 weeks for the provision of information or advice and 20 weeks for issue of a final plan).

The DfE published a minor update to Changes to the law on education, health and are needs assessments and plans due to coronavirus.  

If you have any concerns over full provision detailed in your child/young person's EHCP being reinstated in September please contact the school SENCo to discuss in more detail.  You can also contact the SEN Team for advice and support on 01743 254267 or email

With school attendance being compulsory again from September 2020, Shropshire Council have set up a helpline for parents & carers to offer support and guidance to help ensure a successful return to school. 

Support will be available from 17th August - 2nd September
Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm
0345 678 9008