Our Cabinet members have received a report today (Wednesday 25 January) outlining the outcomes and recommendations from the recent review and consultation of Further Education (FE) for young people with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).
The consultation took place between 7th October 2022 to 4th November 2022.
The consultation proposed a change to practice that would result in the amount of further education young people with EHCPs receive being based on their individual educational needs, rather than the setting they attend.
All Barnsley young people with EHCPs attending mainstream FE settings on a full-time basis receive between 580 and 600 hours. For those in specialist FE settings, the majority receive between 580 and 600 hours, although some receive the equivalent of five days per week. This isn’t dependent on individual educational needs but instead on the setting they attend. This results in inequalities when commissioning education for young people with EHCPs.
The consultation proposed all young people with EHCPs receive the average full-time FE hours (the equivalent of 600 hours per academic year) with any increase above this being based on individual educational need, rather than it being dependent on the setting they attend.
This change in local practice will help minimise any potential inconsistency in the hours of education an individual or group of students may receive and, at the same time, strengthen joint commissioning arrangements between statutory, local partners to provide better-integrated education, health and care. This will be co-produced with young people.
As part of this change in local practice, it is proposed that the Local ‘Offer’ to young people aged 16-25 with EHCPs will be implemented by September 2024.
The implementation has been delayed until this date as having listened to feedback, parents told us we were trying to implement the changes too quickly.
The report recommends that post-16 education provision for this cohort of young people, should, in future, be based on their individual education needs rather than the setting which they attend.
Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “From the feedback collated during the consultation period, we know that some parents and carers were concerned the proposed change to practice was an attempt to take something away. We want to assure parents and carers that this is not the case, and we want to create a better offer for our young people.
“We are committed to making Barnsley the place of possibilities. Making these changes means that young people with EHCPs can fulfil their learning potential, helping them build the skills they need to get into work and progress their careers.”