Lancashire SEND Partnership

Lancashire SEND Partnership

The Lancashire SEND Partnership was formed following the Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) joint inspection of special educational needs and disability (SEND) services in our local area.

The partnership brings together all the agencies in Lancashire which provide the SEND services for children, young people, their parents and carers. It ensures everybody can work together to provide the best outcomes for children, young people and their families, with representatives who use the service.

We will continue to share more about the changes taking place via regular updates so look out for notices on our SEND local offer website and Facebook page or view our event listings on Eventbrite.

If you would like to get in touch with the partnership team, you can email or call 01772 532 280.


Lancashire SEND Partnership has published its new improvement plan which identifies the key priorities, actions, measures and targets for 2019 to 2020.

The updated plan follows last year's written statement of action (WSoA) which was required by Ofsted to detail Lancashire's response to the significant areas of concern identified in the 2017 inspection.

The actions set out in the plan will help deliver the Partnerships vision and strategy, jointly developed with families, education, health and local authority partners across Lancashire.

The improvement plan has four important priorities based on its future vision:

Priority 1: Plan for and meet the needs of children and young people
Priority 2: Become equal partners who understand and listen to each other
Priority 3: Develop services that are child centred, accessible and responsive
Priority 4: Ensure children and young people achieve their potential and ambitions

Edwina Grant OBE is the new Chair of the SEND Partnership Board, supported by Dr Julie Higgins as Vice Chair. They will hold bi-monthly Board meetings to ensure all partners are held responsible for their work to improve SEND services for families in Lancashire.

Both Edwina and Julie bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new roles.

Edwina was recently appointed by Lancashire County Council as Executive Director for Education and Children's Services. She also serves as the National Children's Services Adviser for the Local Government Association.

Julia has previously served as Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Public Health Network. Here she supported a number of ground breaking public health initiatives including the development of the Greater Manchester Health Commission.

They replace John Readman (Chair) and Mark Youlton (Vice Chair) who formed and led the Partnership throughout 2018.

Left to right Dr Julia Higgins, Edwina Grant OBE and Hilary Fordham Chief Executive Officer, Morecambe Bay CCG

Pictured ahead of their first Board meeting are (left to right) Dr Julia Higgins, Edwina Grant OBE and Hilary Fordham Chief Executive Officer, Morecambe Bay CCG.

The SEND local offer for Lancashire is receiving a makeover. Feedback from the partnership is being used to develop a new website that better meets everyone's shared needs.

Parents and carers who expressed their views last year were invited to take part in more consultations in March. Two sessions took place at County Hall giving the opportunity for volunteers to help with the re-design of the Local Offer website. The SEND Partnership team also received attendee's feedback about what they think other parents, carers, young people and children would like to see on the site. All comments have been taken on board and the re-development is underway.

In the meantime, workshops with young people have been held at Sir Tom Finney Community High School, West Lancashire Community High School and Parklands Academy. Pupils took part in a design class, supported by the University of Central Lancashire, to create a new brand and mascot for the local offer.

The final design will be published later this spring.

Over 90 parent carers have signed up to a series of engagement activities hosted by the Partnership in Lancashire and there have been 12 events across the county so far.

These events are called 'Coffee, Cake and Conversation', they are informal events where parent carers can meet and talk with health and social care professionals about their child's needs.

It also provides an opportunity to meet other parent carers and share experiences.

More events for June and July will be announced soon.

Parent carers can keep informed about events, advice and guidance in the following ways:

  • FIND Newsletter – sign up for this excellent magazine which provides information to thousands of families in Lancashire
  • Local Offer Facebook – updated daily, this page is dedicated to families living with SEND

Attendees at a recent parent carer engagement event

Pictured at a recent parent carer engagement event in Chorley are (left to right) Victoria Harvey-Higgins, SEND Officer from Lancashire County Council, Anne Hardman, Designated Clinical Officer from NHS, Ben Homes, Headteacher at St Peter's Church of England Primary School in Chorley, and Shak Shah, Engagement Officer, Lancashire SEND Partnership.

Edwina Grant OBE, Chair of the SEND Partnership Board, is encouraging everyone to get behind the new independent Parent Carer Forum (PCF) as it re-establishes itself in Lancashire.

The steering-group, led by Chair Sam Jones, has been working as part of the SEND Partnership with Contact and local support groups to provide a collective voice for families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Parent carers interested in joining the forum can request specialist training to help develop skills in participation and co-production with a view to representing parent carers within the SEND Partnership. For more information, parent carers can email Sam Jones at

Read more about the PCF in this recent article from the Lancashire Evening Post.

In February, Dr Sally Richardson was announced as the new Head of Inclusion at Lancashire County Council. She replaces David Graham who retires in April.

Sally successfully completed a thorough interview process for external and internal candidates and impressed the panel which included parents, carers, young people, education leaders and executive directors from the council.

She has served Lancashire County Council for two years and successfully led the Educational Psychology service to improve the lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Sally is delighted to be appointed and is very much looking forward to working with colleagues and families to improve the outcomes for children and young people with SEND.

A new local area partnership has been created to work with families to identify and address issues at a local level. Meetings will be held each month in the north, south and east of Lancashire.

Each meeting will have representatives from health, education and the local authority who will talk with parent carers and young people about their needs and identify any gaps in services.

The local area partnership will work with all partners to provide support for children, young people and their families with SEND in Lancashire.

If you have a local issue you would like to raise, please email and we will pass it onto the team.

On 6 March, nine students from Preston's College received special recognition for taking part in Project SEARCH. The scheme offers an internship, training and support for students living with a disability.

Project SEARCH is a global programme which has helped over 6,000 students around the world. It is supported by Lancashire County Council who welcomed the students into County Hall to learn new skills within the Inclusion Service department.

Students and staff from Preston's College, the founders of Project SEARCH and Council colleagues

Pictured are the students and staff from Preston's College, the founders of Project SEARCH, and Council colleagues including Councillor Susie Charles who presented the certificates.

A brand new audit process has been created to drive up standards of education health and care plans (EHCP) in Lancashire.

A team of Auditors will begin regularly reviewing ECHPs and identifying areas for improvement.

So far this year, 41 volunteers from health, schools, colleges, the inclusion service and youth offending team have completed specialist training to apply the latest quality standards.

To support them, a handbook has been published and a SEND Auditor appointed to provide on-going training, advice and guidance. 

The Partnership is pleased to welcome Jan Burrows as the new SEND Auditor, based at County Hall. Jan will co-ordinate the process of improving the quality of education health and care plans (EHCPs) across Lancashire. She will also work with all the agencies within the SEND Partnership and alongside colleagues in the Lancashire County Council Auditing team to deliver actions in the new SEND Partnership Improvement Plan.

The number of auditors will continue to grow and further training opportunities will be published soon.

If you are interested in becoming an EHCP Auditor with the SEND Partnership, please email for more information.

Jan Burrows, SEND Auditor

Pictured is Jan Burrows, SEND Auditor.

In January, over 50 representatives from across the Partnership met in Leyland to review the neurodevelopmental pathway which has been developed between parents, carers, young people, third sector and health and education colleagues.

It will provide a consistent approach to considering neurodevelopmental conditions for young people living in Lancashire aged 0 to 25 years.

The new pathway has four key elements; referral and triage, initial assessment, assessment process and feedback and planning. The final pathway is to be implemented by June 2020.

Pictured below are partnership colleagues attending the latest workshop at Farington Lodge Hotel, led by Dr Maria Hall and Caroline Waddington.

Partnership colleagues attending a neurodevelopmental pathway development workshop

So far, nearly 2,000 people have contributed to the Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) survey from In-Control.

Children, young people, families and practitioners across Lancashire can take part in the survey which is part of a national pilot to help local areas understand the impact of the SEND reforms.

The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete online using one of these links:

The findings are being used to inform improvements and will enable the SEND Partnership to understand more about what is working well and where more improvement in needed. 

Read the 2017/18 report.

The SEND Partnership Board

The board is responsible for decisions made to improve SEND services. It has representatives from:

  • children and young people
  • parents and carers
  • education
  • health
  • social care
  • volunteer groups

You can read more information about the membership and role of the board in the terms of reference (PDF 163KB).

Next meeting

3 June 2019

Meeting notes

Improvement plan

In 2018, our written statement of action (WSoA), set out the changes we needed to make to address the recommendations that Ofsted and the CQC made in their report.

In early 2019, we produced an important update to the WSoA called our Improvement Plan. This plan was produced by the partners who form the SEND Partnership Board which is accountable to the Health and Wellbeing Board, the NHS and the council.

Investing in SEND

To support the action plan, the county council and the six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have already invested significant resources by recruiting a number of new positions. These include:

  • Joint commissioner for health pan-Lancashire
  • SEND improvement partner and programme team
  • SEND ICT implementation team
  • Commissioning support managers
  • Three designated clinical officers



November 17 January 18 March 18 April 18 May 18 June 18
Ofsted and CQC inspection completed Ofsted and CQC report published SEND action plan created DfE and NHS England monitoring visit

Action plan approved by Ofsted
and SEND partnership launched

Parent/carer engagement launched
July 18 August 18 September 18 October 18 November 18 December 18 
DfE and NHS England monitoring visit DCO's appointed Parent/carer reps appointed and education engagement launched DfE and NHS England monitoring visit SEND Partnership publishes its vision, values and strategy DfE and NHS England monitoring visit
January 19 February 19 March 19 April 19    
POET survey re-launched Draft improvement plan published with partners New working groups hold first meetings 2019-2020 Improvement Plan published    

Get in touch

If you would like to make a suggestion or have a comment about the Lancashire SEND Partnership, please email or call 01772 532 713.

We will keep this page up to date with news and information so look out for updates on the SEND local offer website, our Facebook page and Eventbrite for our event listings.