Derbyshire Youth Justice Service (YJS) works with young people and their communities to tackle youth crime in Derbyshire. We are committed to children only entering custody as an absolute last resort.
Should a young person receive a custodial sentence, the Youth Justice Service provides individual support for young people up to the age of 18 in custody to access education, training or re-habilitation as part of their resettlement plan. A visit to the young person in custody will take place prior to their release to discuss their options.
For young people under the age of 16 or those of school age, liaison with schools and the local authority will take place about the most appropriate placement for the young person to continue with their education. Any qualifications gained whilst in custody are transferred and liaison with the Derbyshire special educational needs and disability assessment service (SENDAS) will ensure that any education health and care plans (EHCPs) are up to date and relevant.
The offer to children and young people in custody from SENDAS will be that the allocated SEND officers will attend all:
- admission to custody meetings (virtually) for all children and young people with EHCPs
- pre-release from custody meetings (virtually) for all children and young people with EHCPs
- annual review (virtually) for all children and young people who are in custody
For more information, visit the Young Offending Service page.
From 1st April 2015 there are new laws and statutory guidance that apply to how young people with SEND are supported whilst they are in youth custody. The SEND code of practice provides detailed guidance on the application of these duties in each case.
Local authorities, Youth Justice Services, health commissioners and persons in charge of relevant youth accommodation must have regard to the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice.
Local authorities must not cease an EHCP when a child or young person enters custody. They must keep it while the child is detained, and they must maintain and review it when the child is released.
If a child has an EHCP before being detained the local authority must arrange appropriate special educational provision for the child while he or she is detained.
If the EHCP for a child specifies health care provision, the health services commissioner for the relevant youth accommodation must arrange appropriate health care provision for the child.
Where a child does not have an EHCP, the appropriate person can request an assessment of EHC needs from the local authority. The appropriate person can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability) if they disagree with the decisions of the local authority about certain matters.
All children entering the youth justice system are assessed by the YJS using the approved Youth Justice Board (YJB) assessment tool. As part of the assessment process, YJSs will seek information from several sources, including local authorities, education institutions and health providers.
The YJS must notify the local authority when a child or young person aged 18 and under is detained. If the child has an EHCP the local authority must send it to the YJS within five working days of becoming aware of the detention. Information from the EHCP will feed into the YJS assessment.
Information about a child’s educational history, including any SEN, should be reflected in the pre-sentence report if deemed relevant to the court case.
Education for children and young people in youth custody
Each child entering custody will undergo an educational assessment, including an assessment of literacy, numeracy and, where necessary, a screening to identify whether further assessments to identify SEN are required. This assessment also relies on information from the local authority provided by the YJS and will include any current EHCP for the child. The results of assessments should enable the education provider to develop an individual learning plan for the delivery of education for each child.
Special educational provision should be put in place as soon as possible.
Healthcare for children and young people in youth custody
All children and young people entering custody will be screened and assessed using the Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool (CHAT) which includes a screening for speech, language, and communication needs. If a child has an EHCP when they enter custody, the information in the plan as well as information from the local authority provided by the YOS, should inform, or supplement this assessment. This should lead to an individual health care plan for each child.
Monitoring provision in custody
Where a child is in custody within a year of the last review of their EHCP, the local authority should conduct a monitoring meeting and continue to do so, as a minimum, every 12 months. The monitoring meeting should consider the special educational and health provision arranged for the child in custody and the appropriateness of the provision in the EHCP considering the child’s progress or changed circumstances.
The local authority can request that the person in charge of the relevant youth accommodation or YJS convenes the monitoring meeting.
Review on release from youth custody
The YJS must notify the local authority when a child is due to be released from the relevant youth accommodation to inform the resettlement process and should ensure all external agencies are aware of their responsibilities under the proposed release plan, and condition of licence or Notice of Supervision. The local authority should inform any relevant community services that the child is due to be released.
If the child had an EHCP before entering custody or was issued with an EHCP while they were in custody, the responsible local authority must keep the plan while the child is in custody and must review it as soon as possible on release. The review must focus on the child’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHCP. Local authorities should work with the YJS to take account of the condition of licence or Notice of Supervision when reviewing the EHCP. If the EHCP was issued while the child was in custody the review should specifically consider sections I (placement) and J (personal budgets) of the EHCP.
Professionals across education, health and social care are expected to co-operate with local authorities during reviews and the relevant healthcare commissioner must agree the healthcare provision to be included in a revised plan.
Moving to a new local authority on release
If the child is due to be released to a new local authority the YJS must notify the local authority where the child is ordinarily resident (the old local authority) and the new local authority in whose area the YJS expects the child to live on release from the relevant youth accommodation. The old authority must send the EHCP to the new authority within 5 working days of being informed of the move. The new authority will become responsible for maintaining the plan and for securing the special educational provision specified in it.
Where the child’s move results in a new Integrated Care Board becoming responsible for the child, the new local authority must send the EHCP to the new Integrated Care Board within 5 working days of becoming responsible for maintaining the plan. Where it is not practicable for the new Integrated Care Board to secure the health provision specified in the EHCP, the new Integrated Care Board must, within 15 working days of receiving a copy of the EHCP, request the new local authority to make an EHC needs assessment or review the EHCP plan. The new local authority must comply with any request.
If the child is released to a new local authority before the EHC needs assessment process has been completed the new local authority should consider whether it needs to carry out an EHC needs assessment. The new authority should take account of the fact that the old authority decided to carry out an EHC needs assessment (and should seek information concerning the assessment from the old local authority) when making its decision. The new local authority should draw on the expertise and knowledge of the YJS to continue the assessment process.
Transition from youth justice to a custodial establishment for adults
When a child is transferred to an adult custodial establishment the person in charge of the relevant youth accommodation should ensure that all relevant SEN information, including the EHCP, is passed to the receiving establishment prior to transfer taking place, so that any additional support needs can be considered by the receiving establishment. The SEN duties in the Children and Families Act 2014 no longer apply once a young person is transferred to the adult secure estate.
Education on release for those in a custodial establishment for adults
If a young person reaches eighteen and is in an adult custodial establishment and they had an EHCP immediately before custody, or if they were issued with a plan while in relevant youth accommodation, and if they are still under the age of 25 when they are released from custody, the local authority must maintain and review the EHCP if the young person plans to stay in education.
If the young person plans to continue their education on release, the Offenders' Learning and Skills Service provider and the National Careers Service provider should liaise to ensure the responsible local authority can review the EHCP as soon as possible.
Independent advice can be sought by parent(s)/ carers or children and young people from Derbyshire Information Advice and Support Service for SEND.