Session overview

The DfE digital delivery team will facilitate the sessions and share progress updates and opportunities for local area professionals to get involved in our work.

The first session on 9 May 2024 was held online and was a project overview. Subsequent sessions will have more detail on different aspects of the programme.

Over 80 local area representatives from different roles and professions across England came together online for the first time.

Project aims

We spoke about our aims and what we are doing to support these.

We want to make it easier for local authorities to roll out a digital EHCP system by co-producing guidance that will be available online covering key topics.

We want to raise the standard of digital EHCP systems that are available for local authorities to procure by:

  • creating a 'minimum functionality' list, which is a set of functions that a digital EHCP system must do as a minimum
  • having regular sessions with suppliers to ensure expectations around EHCP digitisation are achievable
  • ensuring they are kept up to date with recommendations that may require additional work so they can be planned for

We want to make it easier for local authorities in England to share EHC records with each other by:

  • creating a data schema (the classification and categorisation of data fields and related hierarchies) that will become part of a data standard supporting the EHCP template
  • considering options on data transfer mechanisms to transfer a child or young person's EHC record and plan from one local authority to another (when agreed, this will be incorporated into the minimum functionality and data standard)

What we talked about

The community group asked questions and discussed their concerns or challenges. We summarise the main topics in this update.

Grant funding

We are considering funding options. Following the webinar sessions we sent out a survey in March 2024 (Digital EHCP Systems survey) to all local authorities to find out their digital status and we are currently analysing this. We'll update more on this in the next few weeks.

Digital exclusion

Local authorities have a duty to provide accessible and inclusive services. Therefore, they will need to maintain options for users who do not have access or the ability to use digital services. For those users that need an alternative method to engage with the process, digital systems need to support offline working and the recording of information gathered through non-digital methods.

Historical data migration

We know this can be a substantial piece of work. We're investigating best practice as part of our research so it can be included in our guidance.

Choosing a supplier

We are developing and co-producing guidance alongside a minimum functionality specification. The guidance will be available to all local authorities, supporting them to work with suppliers who are implementing the minimum functionality.

We do not have an approved list of suppliers, but we have a number of suppliers we are working with to share what we are looking to implement. The specification for minimum functionality of systems will help suppliers understand what they need to provide, as well as help you identify and procure supplier systems that meet the minimum functionality. We will look to mandate this specification.

Having a standard EHCP assessment template

We are currently testing a standard EHCP assessment template.

Information governance

We think sharing best practice between local authorities and areas will help you develop an information sharing agreement that supports your local areas specific requirements.

Managing changes to existing EHCP systems

We recognise that you are all at vastly different stages of digitisation. We are continuing to co-produce the specification for minimum functionality of systems and data standard to help suppliers understand what they need to provide.

Contact us

Find out how to get involved in research or the community group on our EHCP project page or email:

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