Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Update

National programme strengthening local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) partnerships

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Change Programme is a national program to test changes to the children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) at a regional level.

The programme is being delivered by Change Programme Partnerships in each of the nine regions of England involving selected local authorities and integrated care systems working alongside families, each one being led by at least one named local authority.

For our region, the partnership includes Telford & Wrekin Council as the lead local authority, Shropshire Council, NHS Shropshire,Telford and Wrekin, along with Hereford and Worcestershire Integrated Care System.

The programme aims to:

  • strengthen Local Area SEND Partnerships
  • develop Local Area Inclusion Plans
  • pilot changes to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP).
  • enhance AP and develop National Standards.

The Partnership will collaborate on creating Local Area Inclusion Plans, EHCP reform alongside addressing AP.

Our region’s partnership has also been successful in being selected as the site in the West Midlands to roll out the Early Language Support for Every Child (ELSEC) programme.

This programme will aim to provide earlier identification of and support to children and young people with SEND across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and provide direct support to selected primary schools and early years settings across the region.

Shropshire six-month progress review

According to a recent review, partners from across Health and the local authority in Shropshire are making progress against their commitment to improve support for children and young people with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Following the six-month progress review of the Accelerated Progress Plan (APP), Department for Education (DfE) SEND and NHS England have found the evidence submitted by partners supports strong intentions by officer leadership and commitment from front line staff.

The response from DfE and NHS England highlights the range of actions which have been taken to drive improvement and recognises the contributions from the Parent Carer Forum (PACC) and school representatives.

The actions include:

  • Recruitment of a Head of Transformation and Commissioning Children and Young People and Learning Disabilities and Autism at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
  • Implementing changes to improve communications to ensure parent carers are aware of the range of support available to them whilst their children are waiting on the diagnostic pathways.
  • Quality Service Improvement work to ensure the local area has clearer oversight and measures in place to review waiting times.
  • The development of the Neurodevelopment Neurodiversity Practitioner (ND) role.
  • New multiagency Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) quality assurance processes to analyse the quality of EHCP planning.
  • Investment in workforce development to ensure Children and Young People receive quality EHC plans.
  • Ongoing feedback mechanisms allowing officers to have structured conversations and support as part of a multiagency Quality Assurance approach for EHC Plans.
  • Introduction of a New Appendix B – Education advice, which has been co-produced with education setting representatives.
  • Embedding the process of triaging children and young people and expediting referrals based on clinical needs.
  • Work to increase the Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) workforce capacity.
  • A coaching model and video sessions to professionals to support children and young people with speech and language difficulties.

A survey was shared with parent carers last year to benchmark people’s experiences of SEND provision in Shropshire. A follow-up survey will take place in March to check if people’s experiences are improving as a result the actions being taken and identify opportunities for further improvement.

The Local Area SEND system is committed to providing regular updates on these key areas of work through the Shropshire SEND Newsletter available at https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/the-send-local-offer/news/


Page last updated 29 February 2024