Nottinghamshire Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Policy (2020-2023)
The Nottinghamshire SEND Policy was approved by the County Council’s Policy Committee on Wednesday 30 September 2020.
The Nottinghamshire SEND Policy builds on over 30 years of learning and best practice in Nottinghamshire. In recent years, the SEND landscape has changed significantly, and this Policy has been developed with the Council’s key stakeholders, including parents and carers, in response to these changes:
- there are now more children and young people with SEND
- the SEND needs of some children have become more complex, especially around social, emotional and mental health
- new legislation stipulates that the Council must now plan support for some young people with SEND until the age of 25 years.
Underpinning the SEND Policy is the Council’s continuing commitment to inclusive practice. The Council’s inclusive approach ensures that most children and young people with SEND receive their education in local mainstream settings and access resources without the need for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
The SEND Policy also considers the recommendations of the Review of the High Needs Block, which was commissioned by the Council and the Schools Forum in 2018, and the feedback from the subsequent consultation with parents/carers and other key stakeholders. The High Needs Block is part of the Dedicated Schools Grant and supports provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from their early years to age 25. The High Needs Block Review made the following recommendations:
- engagement with parents and carers should be increased
- the quality of mainstream SEND offers should be improved and made more consistent
- decision making should be based more in local areas
- a more focussed strategy around High Needs Block spend should be developed
- the Council should reduce reliance on high cost Independent Non-Maintained placements
- the Council should make the case to national Government for an increase of Nottinghamshire’s share of available funding.
The SEND Policy’s vision is for ‘Nottinghamshire to be a place where children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) will be safe, healthy and happy, have a good quality of life and opportunities to fulfil their aspirations, develop their independence and make a positive contribution to society’.
The SEND Policy sets out the values and principles which will shape the Council’s work with children and young people with SEND and their families and identifies 12 essential outcomes to be achieved over the next three years. These values, principles and outcomes have been strongly informed by the feedback received from parents and carers.
To deliver these outcomes, the SEND Policy identifies six broad steps. The local partnership in Nottinghamshire has developed the Nottinghamshire Strategic Action Plan to support the delivery of the SEND Policy and its outcomes. This action plan will be owned and monitored regularly by the Nottinghamshire SEND Accountability Board.
You can read the policy by clicking here or the image above.
The SEND Accountability Board was established in January 2017 following the joint Care Quality Commission and Ofsted Local Area Inspection in June 2016. Read about about the main findings of the inspection, including areas of strength and areas for further improvement or by clicking on the icon below:
The purpose of the SEND Accountability Board is to lead and co-ordinate the continuous improvement of Nottinghamshire’s implementation of the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice. Read the terms of reference for the group, which includes its vision and purpose or by clicking on the icon below:
The SEND Accountability Board’s vision for the local area is for children and young people with SEND to be safe and happy, to have a good quality of life and opportunities to achieve their aspirations, to develop their independence and make a positive contribution to society.
The partnership is committed to the co-production of services with families and listening to the voices of children and young people.
The Board has a number of responsibilities including:
- To facilitate partnership and multi-agency leadership of SEND in the local area.
- To develop and monitor the delivery of the multi-agency local area SEND Strategic Action Plan (SSAP).
- To monitor the local area’s continuous improvement approach to the implementation of the SEND reforms.
- To consider and approve the actions required to progress ‘areas for development’ as identified by the Joint Care Quality Commission and Ofsted Inspection in June 2016.
- To ensure the recommendations of the 2015/16 Nottinghamshire SEND Review and the Improving Outcomes for Children and Young People with Disabilities Programme are implemented in full.
- To approve the annual update of the SEND Local Area Self Evaluation document, to ensure that an accurate picture of performance and progress is maintained.
- To ensure that the views of children and young people and their parents/carers inform the work of the Board and its action plan.
- To inform the focus of future triennial statutory review of SEND arrangements.
- To ensure agreed actions are aligned to the key responsibilities of all statutory partners and their duty to co-operate as outlined in Section 28 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
- To support, monitor and approve the work of the SEND Strategic Development Lead.
The Nottinghamshire SEND Strategic Action Plan (2021-2023), outlines why each of the key areas identified in the Nottinghamshire SEND Policy are a priority for the Local Area and activities that the partnership will take over the next couple of years to achieve them. This action plan will be owned and monitored regularly by the Nottinghamshire SEND Accountability Board.
Read the SEND Strategic Action Plan or by clicking on the icon below:
You can read the minutes of SEND Accountability Board meetings by accessing the Local Offer page containing the minutes.
Read the SEND Glossary of Terms document or by clicking on the icon below:
The Local Offer has been always been part of the wider Notts Help Yourself working group. However, it was felt that a more specific Local Offer development group was needed with the main purpose to set out the ambitions and priorities for Nottinghamshire’s Local Offer and any subsequent development work. This would also align the development of the Local Offer with Council strategic priorities and statutory requirements. The Local Offer Development Group was therefore formed with the inaugural meeting being held on July 1st 2019.
The membership of the group consists of relevant professionals from different service areas and representatives from the Nottinghamshire Parent Carer Forum (Notts PCF). There will be representation from education, health and social care to ensure that collective responsibility and decision making can be taken in terms of priorities and development work.
You can read the Terms of Reference document, which outlines the specific purpose, objectives and responsibilities for the group or by clicking on the icon below:
Nottinghamshire County Council, Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG are committed to improving and transforming our education, health and care services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to ensure that all children in Nottinghamshire get the best possible start in life. This Strategy sets out the joint commissioning arrangements between our three organisations.
It should be noted that this strategy has been developed during Covid-19 which has inevitably influenced the final priorities for the Local Area, as outlined in section 9 of this document. The Local Authority and CCGs have had to adapt to the challenges presented by Covid-19. Many of the new ways of working have been positive, including improved communications between organisations and with service users. These changes will continue to be embedded in the delivery of this Strategy.
The overall vision of the Local Area’s SEND Accountability Board is that:
” Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) will be safe, healthy and happy, and have a good quality of life and opportunities to fulfil their aspirations, develop their independence and make a positive contribution to society.”
Our core values and principles are:
Ensuring the child or young person’s voice is heard and is central in decision making.
- Supporting collaborative relationships with key partners and services, including parents and carers, schools and colleges and other educational settings, health providers and other local authority services.
- Working in partnership to ensure co-ordination of services.
- Co-producing services with service users to ensure they meet the needs of service users.
- Improving the attainment of all children and young people, with a focus on the achievement and progress of those with SEND.
- Ensuring early support and timely intervention, following the identification of need, using a graduated approach to avoid escalation of difficulties.
- Maintaining inclusive practices to ensure that children and young people remain connected to their communities.
- Preparing children and young people for adulthood at the earliest appropriate stage and supporting their transition between children’s and adult services.
- Ensuring children and young people with SEND attend good and outstanding schools and colleges, including special schools and colleges where appropriate.
- Allocating resources using processes that are simple, fair and transparent.
This Strategy describes how Nottinghamshire will build upon its successes in meeting our commissioning responsibilities as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014, SEND Code of Practice and Equality Act 2010 and continue to remove the barriers to learning and achieving, whilst building resilience and taking a preventative approach.
It describes how we are working together to collaboratively commission services which improve health, social and educational outcomes, reduce inequalities for Nottinghamshire's children and young people with SEND.
Read the Nottinghamshire SEND Integrated Commissioning Strategy (2021-2023) or by clicking on the icon below:
To be approved by Policy Committee on 2 September 2021
Special Provision Capital Fund
Local authorities must ensure there are sufficient good school places for all children and young people, including those with SEN and disabilities.
In March 2017, the Government committed £215 million of capital funding from 2018 to 2021 to help local authorities create new school places and improve existing facilities for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, in consultation with parents and providers. In May 2018, the Department for Education (DfE) announced a £50 million increase to this fund, and in December 2018 a further £100 million to local authorities, taking the total investment in this fund to £365 million.
This capital funding is not ring-fenced and local authorities can use it as they see fit to improve special provision for children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans. The DfE expects that local authorities will seek to use this funding in a way that helps them manage the cost pressures on their high needs revenue budgets.
This funding can be invested in mainstream schools and academies, special units, special schools and academies, early years settings, and further education colleges, or to make other provision for children and young people aged from 0 to 25.
Key conditions of the grant is that the local authorities must consult with a range of stakeholders, including children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, their families and those who support them and publish their plans on their Local Offer.
The County Council undertook a consultation on High Needs in January 2019, and as a result of the consultation the Special Provision Capital Fund will be used to fund over the next two years: £253,000 SEND adaptations to academy buildings and £1,560,000 to fund the capital costs of piloting three secondary mainstream enhanced provisions and piloting two special schools hubs. These pilots will focus on meeting the needs of pupils with social emotional mental health needs who would otherwise be at risk of permanent exclusion and/or placements in alternative high cost provisions, sometimes far from where they live.
Documentation relating to the 2019 consultation and the Nottinghamshire County Council Special Provision Capital Fund Plan covering the period from April 2018 to March 2021 can be found under downloads on this page.