Agenda item

Special Education Needs and Strategy

To consider the report on the outcome of the consultation on SEND Strategy and proposed approach to implementation.



The Head of Special Needs 0-25 presented the report which outlined the outcome on the Council’s consultation on the SEND Strategy and proposed approach to implementation.


The consultation on the Draft SEND strategy took place between 3 December 2018 till 31 January 2019 and the outcomes included the following:

  • There were 99 responses to the online survey and feedback provided at face to face meetings by 120 members of the public.
  • Findings of the consultation informed the revision on the Strategy.
  • Those consulted agreed on the four key areas identified for development.
  • A fifth key area for development was identified and added to the Strategy


It was agreed by the Chair and officers that it was important that the voice of young people and parents were captured at this meeting and as a result representatives from Parents in Partnership as well as young people with SEN were in attendance.


The  young people in attendance provided information on their experiences which included the following:

  • It was important to be recognised as a person 1st and to not be judged on the basis on their special need.
  • They were capable of achieving the same outcomes as someone without a disability and want to be given a chance to do so.
  • They had to work harder to prove to people who made the assumption that they would not be successful
  • It was important for them to feel safe when travelling on their own on public transport.
  • Many attend Waddon Youth Club where they were able to interact with younger people with special needs, provide support and give valuable advice.
  • Some of the young people present were at college and were also volunteering.
  • A young person voiced that whilst at school they wished teachers had been more patient and supportive.
  • It was important that young people with SEN and their families were supported emotionally.
  • There was limited services available once they reached the age of 25


It was noted that there was a requirement for good, localised and accessible provision within the borough and that there was a concern regarding the local offer and provision during transition to adulthood. It was also important that the Council support in-borough services.


The Cabinet Member for Children Young People and Learning informed the Sub-Committee that there was currently work taking place on the Local offer and that Parents in Partnership was working with the Council on further development.


A guest was asked if there was any evidence of best practice and what they would expect from the 3rd Sector. In response, Members were informed that it was important for the Council to incentivise businesses to work more with young people by providing opportunities for them to join their workforce. More work was needed with the 3rd sector to promote the sense of belonging. The youth groups work hard with young people to enable them to have a sense of who they are, which promotes resilience. It was also important that progress be made on improved multiagency and joint partnerships as without this the intended outcomes of the Strategy would not be realised.


It was noted that what the young people had shared was what many young people with SEN experienced. The Strategy revealed that there was a gap in services for post 16 and that clearer pathways would promote improved outcomes and increased fulfilment in personal lives.


Officers agreed that the two areas that received the most feedback during the consultation were post 16 and transitions and that these would be areas of focus for the department. Joint working between services including health, education, families and young people would be key to improving outcomes.


The short breaks policy was a priority of the Strategy and would be reviewed in the course of the 3 years, additionally the transitions policy was also in the process of being drawn up.


In response to a Member question on what was being done to address issues identified in workforce development, officers said that this was an area of priority. Parents in partnership would work with the Council to develop training programmes on improving effectiveness in working with young people and their families.


The short break policy was part of the Strategy and would be reviewed in the course of the 3 years, additionally the transitions policy was also in the process of being drawn up.


In response to a Member question on what was being done to promote inclusivity and diversity across services, officers stated that this was one of the priorities of the Strategy to ensure that the right support was being provided for children and families in the borough. There was ongoing working with the CCG, providers, Public Health and Schools on their responses and promotion of inclusivity as it was recognised that this was an area of weakness.


It was agreed by the members and Council that it was important to utilise council contracts to secure commitments from businesses in the community to leverage employment for young people.


The Chair and Members thanked all in attendance for their contribution to the meeting.



Information request by the Sub-Committee



·       Timeline on further consultation/developments of Transitions and Short Breaks Policy.



The Sub-Committee came to the following Conclusion:

  1. The update report following the consultation period was detailed and informative.
  2. The involvement of parents, young people, families and the wider community in the consultation was encouraging
  3. The decision and actions to be implemented to deliver on outcomes was clear
  4. The work that was being done to further develop the Local Offer was encouraging and the sub-committee looked forward to receiving updates on progress in the future.
  5. It was encouraging and enlightening to hear first-hand the experiences of young people, what was important to them and what further could be done to improve outcomes.
  6. The Sub-Committee would welcome the return of parents and young people to a scrutiny meeting in a year to challenge the Council on whether the strategy was fulfilling its intentions.
  7. It was encouraging that the Council uses its contracts to leverage employment for young people and should try to do so with businesses in the community.



Supporting documents: