20:20 Vision for SEND in Northamptonshire

The vision for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Northamptonshire and the plan for future development.

SEND strategy

The SEND strategy was developed from the series of 20:20 events in Spring 2017 and approved by the Local Authority in November 2017:

The four main priorities are:

  • to ensure that every child and young person with SEND makes excellent progress, through access to high quality provision
  • to engage with children, young people and their families to promote early identification and support that meets need
  • to develop smooth progression to adulthood for all young people with SEND
  • to improve the quality and timeliness of multi-agency assessments and quality of plans for those who require specialist levels of support

Active involvement in the action plan that will address each priority in depth is still needed. Please participate whenever you are invited to, or contact localoffer@northamptonshire.gov.uk to find out how you can.

SEND Delivery Plan 2018 to 2020

Following the publication of Northamptonshire’s SEND Strategy for children and young people (0 to 25 years) with Special Educational Needs and Disability, in February 2018 , the SEND Delivery Plan was published.

This is a high level working document, the identified lead professionals will be producing individual action plans to detail timelines, actions and involvement of all partners including young people and families. The plan covers the four priorities identified in the SEND strategy and links to other developments that connects to Special Educational Needs and Disability developments.

The delivery of the key priorities will be underpinned by the following principles:

  • Collective Responsibility
    We need a fair system where everyone plays their part to solve even the most complex of problems.

  • Early Support and Intervention
    Early help and support through a high quality, graduated response to prevent difficulties becoming entrenched.

  • Inclusion
    The majority of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities will attend mainstream settings with support from specialist providers.

  • Appropriately Trained Workforce
    The workforce across services is confident and competent to identify and meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

  • Localisation
    Children and young people should be educated as close to their home as possible to support meaningful engagement in their community.

  • Personalisation
    A personalised approach leading to greater choice and control for families, valuing unique circumstances.

  • Co-production
    Parents and carers know their children and families the best. Parents and young people are active participants in decision making and help to develop and shape services.

  • Partnership
    Integration, joint commissioning and co-ordination of approaches to deliver better outcomes for children and young people with SEND.

  • Culture Change
    We need to think in different ways, create alternative methods for delivery and develop more flexible approaches working with children, young people and their families to find the right support for them.

The record of the 20:20 Vision Events of 2017 is still available and the all films can be viewed by searching the Local Offer YouTube channel.

What happened after the consultation events?

Priority One - To ensure that every child and young person with SEND makes excellent progress, through access to high quality provision

  • Three special school head teachers met with the LA to discuss and agree how mainstream schools can be supported by them.
  • The Inclusion Network meetings (for Sencos) now have a strategic officer from the LA leading on training and attending to offer advice at every meeting.
  • A Short Breaks contract was awarded to Action for Children to provide youth groups and holiday activities. SCOPE was awarded a contract to offer 'Sleep Right' in a variety of locations. 
    A parental 'Shadow Board' and associated social media groups were established for residential short-breaks.  
  • A transport working group created a 'Transport Panel' to agree and provide creative and flexible solutions for SEN children as needed. This meets each month.
  • An annual audit process of the High Needs Funding placements has been established to analyse the progress made by the students.
  • A Resource Allocation System (RAS) has been set up and rigorously tested with special schools and the new funding arrangements for schools will start in Sept 2019.
  • The Care and Treatment Reviews action plan has been published and information for families is publically available on the Local Offer website.

Priority Two - To engage with children, young people and their families to promote early identification and support that meets need.

  • A Partnership Participation and Engagement Board meets regularly. It is available to conduct surveys and provide feedback from young people and families for all strategic groups.
  • All young people with an EHC plan have a Viewpoint logon that enables them to securely report about their support, school and social situation.  This can inform their 'annual review' of the EHC plan.
  • Training has been undertaken with health care colleagues to develop links and information to inform EHC assessments and reviews.

Priority Three -  To develop smooth progression to adulthood for all young people with SEND

  • A cross sector curriculum group has been established and an analysis of curriculum and progression is ongoing.
  • A supported internship programme has begun.
  • An analysis of the difficulties and complexities of transitioning from children's social services to adult social services has been undertaken and a new pathway established.

Priority Four - To improve the quality and timeliness of multi-agency Education, Health and Care assessments and quality of plans for those who require specialist levels of support

  • The restructure of EHC team to a locality based service took place, following the completion of the transfer of all statements of special educational needs to EHC plans. There has been recruitment of new SEN Officers to manage workload, however the team is not yet fully staffed.
  • EHC plan quality survey established, launching in September 2019.
  • Education providers and parents can use an online referral form to request a statutory assessment.
  • The SEN Sufficiency report was published and, following consultation, approved by Cabinet in September 19. Work is on-going to progress the new school in South Northants and additional capacity across the county in areas where there are identified gaps.  
  • SEN EHC moderation panel restructured and the Health Service Designated Clinical Officer now attends to offer health advice.
  • The 'all age autism strategy' was developed and published. Autism Champions group established to provide support.
  • Autism awareness training is being delivered by the occupational workforce development.

There will be a 'What Next' consultation opportunity in 2020 to set a new five year plan for special educational needs and disabilities in the county.

Capital Funding

Department for Education Capital Funding to support children who have Education Health and Care Plans March 2018.

Northamptonshire has been allocated over £2 million (£2,821,743) of capital funding by the Department for Education (DfE)to help children and young people with education, health and care plans to get a high quality education. This funding can be used in mainstream schools, including academies, free schools, special units, special schools, early years’ settings, further education colleges or other provision for children and young people aged from 0 to 25.

As well as the DfE funding, Northamptonshire County Council have current capital funding projects of £4,823,764 to meet key priorities.

The Authority has been building on the 20:20 consultation events held last year to ask parent and carers, schools, settings and others how this funding allocation should be used. The Northamptonshire SEND Strategy and Delivery Plan provides information on the priorities for the county which have been driven by the feedback from young people, families and other stakeholders. This capital funding will support some of these priorities.

Key areas identified from consultation are:

  • Identification of the needs of our children sooner and put support in place for them earlier.
  • Work to increase opportunities for children and young people to get their education in mainstream schools so that more children and young people remain closer to home.
  • Strengthen and improve the opportunities available (post 16) for young people to move into employment and to live fulfilling, independent lives.
  • Review and revise the pathways to assessments so they are transparent and clear, this includes the Education Health and Care Plan process.

Not all of these issues concern how capital funding is spent. In addition to the capital programme, the SEND Delivery Plan starts to identify how the issues concerning training, assessment and improving confidence in the systems will be addressed. The Delivery Plan will be updated regularly as progress is made and opportunities for involvement from all stakeholders will be publicised through the Local Offer website and social media as well as through parents groups and education providers.

Key documents