Temporary changes to assessment and management of children and young people with special needs

The CSP is advising members to familiarise themselves with temporary legislative powers relating to education, health and care (EHC) needs assessments and plans for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England, which the government has introduced under The Coronavirus Act.


These changes affect the obligation of local authorities to provide special educational and healthcare provision within an EHC plan and also allow healthcare professionals greater time to respond to requests to provide services within such plans.

They will affect all CSP members who work in children and young people’s services because they may mean a child or young person’s physiotherapy provision is different from that set out in their EHC plan.

However, providing physiotherapy support for children and young people with SEND during COVID-19 remains a priority area.

While demand for services is likely to remain high, services should continue to:

  • Communicate regularly and clearly with families, based on need and risk assessment
  • Work with families within usual multidisciplinary teams, including education colleagues, to ensure a coordinated approach and optimal use of resources
  • Make best efforts to provide the care detailed on the child or young person’s EHC plan as far as possible and any deviations to the original plan must be documented
  • Document decision-making processes as per usual record-keeping standards.

Services should consider how best to continue to support their families and carers through remote consultations using digital options such as phone and video. 

Supporting guidance:

Education, health and care needs assessments and plans: Guidance on temporary legislative changes relating to coronavirus (COVID19)


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