Children with Special Educational Needs suffering because of Recruitment Crisis

25 Apr 2023

The Conservative controlled Hertfordshire County Council Educational Psychologist (EP) team has fewer than half the vitally required EPs. If it were fully staffed, there would be 38 full time equivalent post holders, whereas now, following the recent departure of 3 EPs, it has just 18.

This lack of EPs is having a devastating effect on children with Special Educational Needs. A large majority need to be assessed by these EPs before they can obtain their crucially required Educational Health and Care Plans (EHCP). It is these EHCPs that entitle them to receive the treatment and appropriate schooling their disability requires. There are currently over 800 Hertfordshire children with SEND waiting to obtain their EHCPs.

County Councillor Mark Watkin Liberal Democrat Opposition Spokesperson for Education commented, "This situation is not unique to Hertfordshire but this authority has a particularly serious challenge. It is a national crisis which the Conservative Government can no longer ignore. The Conservative run County Council is failing to attract more EPs or employ enough specialised assistants to help reduce the workload so SEND children are suffering and the backlog gets worse every day."

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