Important message from Jo Hill, Service Manager, SENAT
SENAT continue to work from home with some office-based working where tasks need to be completed on-site and are ‘business critical’. All emails and phone numbers remain operational and although physically posting documents is not the best way to contact us (emailing is preferred) there is also a process in place to collect and distribute post.
Panels and decision-making processes are continuing to run remotely.
All Covid-related exceptions to timescales for statutory processes were removed as of 25th September 2020. SENAT are working hard to manage the implications of that and will engage directly with families impacted by these changes.
We anticipate high demand on the service, particularly up till Christmas, some of which will be ‘additional’ work associated with these unprecedented circumstances. However, we continue to operate fully, albeit remotely, and will keep families up to date if the process they are part of has been impacted in terms of completion time etc.
SENAT do not intend to return to face to face meetings in any setting for the foreseeable future. Whilst schools will be fully operational the guidance remains that visitors to settings should be minimised as far as possible. SENAT do not work directly with learners so it is the view of the Local Authority that staff who directly support learners (advisory teacher teams etc.) should be prioritised for attendance in settings. SENAT can continue to contribute remotely to meetings.
Where face to face is requested relevant staff in SENAT will conduct an assessment of risk regarding their attendance/ability to complete the process remotely and engage with relevant parties about this risk assessment. Meetings in family homes will not be available for foreseeable future. We will be reviewing meeting attendance/visits to schools/other settings in the event of changing Government guidance.
In line with current guidance the SEN Assessment Team will be mainly working from home for the foreseeable future. The team is very fortunate to have the required technology, including phone and email access, when working remotely in this manner. Telephone numbers and email contact details remain unchanged.
There are processes in place to manage post, however communication with the service electronically going forward will be the most sensible approach. If you don’t have an email address the following shared addresses will be checked during working days and information will be passed on:
May we take this opportunity to acknowledge the challenging circumstances we are all currently in and thank everyone involved in supporting children and young people with SEN&D for their ongoing support and care.
SEN Assessment Team