The Coronavirus Bill provides for various changes to the EHCP regime and duties on local authorities. Schedule 17 creates a power for the Secretary of State issue a notice for up to a month at a time:
Despite guidance currently available from HMG, it is important to note that the Bill does not provide for these measures to apply automatically – they will not unless and until the Secretary of State issues a notice (which he must take reasonable steps to bring to the attention of those likely to be affect). Until that time, the duties on local education authorities remain unchanged. At time of writing the Bill is still being debated in the Lords, so further amendments are also possible.
There are also changes to Tribunal procedure and practice. Guidance issued on Thursday confirmed that the First-Tier Tribunal (HESC) will move to fully digital working. In practice this means:
Consideration therefore needs to be given to practical matters: