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 events on Eventbrite.

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


Parents and Carers from across Lancashire have taken part in a free training course to provide them with tools to understand and navigate the SEND system. They were joined by representatives from the SEND Partnership including health, the inclusion service and the IAS team.

The five week course, hosted at County Hall, was provided by the Lancashire Parent Carer Forum and was very successful in supporting parents who wanted to know more about the help available for their families.

Each week course leader Caroline Tomlinson, from the charity My Life, captivated the group as she shared knowledge gathered from her 30 years' experience working in this area. She was also joined by guest speakers who discussed their personal stories about living with SEND.

Zack Kerr was one of the guest speakers who certainly made an impact. He is 23 years old and lives with cerebral palsy, a lifelong condition affecting movement and co-ordination. His mother had previously attend the training and Zack spoke passionately about how My Life has supported him and his family.

Another highlight for many people was the new connections they made which will help and support them in the future.

Pictured are parent carers attending the participation training course at County Hall, Preston.

All attendees received a certificate at the final training session on 24th May to celebrate their achievements.

If you are interested in attending the next course, please contact Sam Jones, Chair of the PCF by emailing

Lancashire SEND Partnership is hosting three more events in the north and west of the county for parent carers to talk about SEND issues with local professionals.

So far this year, 12 events have been held across Lancashire where parents have met designated clinical officers, SEN co-ordinators, senior managers from the inclusion service and members of the information advice and support team.

Book your place in St Anne's 

We will post upcoming events at different locations when they become available.

Head teachers, SEN co-ordinators, SEND officers and early years' managers will be attending a series of workshops in July to discuss important SEND issues with the inclusion service from Lancashire County Council.

Eighteen events will be held in the north, south and east of Lancashire and they follow on from the successful meetings hosted in the autumn term.

  Head Teachers SENCO/SENDO's Early Years
North - Brockholes Thurs 4th July Weds 10th July Weds 17th July
South - Leyland Tues 2nd July Fri 12th July Thurs 18th July
East - Dunkenhalgh Hotel Weds 3rd July Tues 9th July Tues 16th July

Educators wishing to attend can email for more information.

Newly appointed SEN co-ordinators (SENCOs) from Lancashire primary and secondary schools recently attended a one-day workshop to improve their knowledge about supporting children with additional needs. The event was hosted by the school improvement service from Lancashire County Council.

Part of their meeting involved sharing examples of good practice they have supported within their school. This included:

  • SENCo led drop-ins for parents before the end of school allowing families to meet each other, share experiences and offer support.
  • Stay and play sessions for parents to meet SENCOs and teaching assistants to learn about phonics and other teaching aids which will help their child at home.
  • After school workshops to share advice with parents about online safety, useful web resources and other general SEN matters.

In all cases, parents reported how useful it was to meet other parents in similar situations and that the meetings helped build stronger relationships between the families and school.

The course attendees had many useful examples and the SEND Partnership will collate these cases and share more details over the next few months. More examples will also be gathered during the SENCO cluster meetings in June.

Pictured above is David Bird (left) SEN inclusion advisor for Lancashire County Council and Gareth Jenkins (3rd from right) Engagement lead for Lancashire SEND Partnership, alongside SENCO delegates at the Farington Hotel, Leyland.

POWAR the council for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities have created a survey for young people with SEND to share what they think is the top issue for them. Once the results are in, POWAR will create a campaign to raise awareness of and tackle the issue.

POWAR would like to hear the voices of children and young people through this survey and ask that you share it with your child/young person so POWAR can collate as many views as possible.

If your child or young person would like to join POWAR, or you would like more information about the group, please email Mia Leyland on  

Theo Bishop, 16, from Fallbarn Crescent, Rawtenstall, is beginning his training in the hopes to compete in Paralympian table tennis at the 2020 Paralympics.

The teenager, who currently attends Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 14 months old. Theo used a frame to walk and was restricted from taking part in physical activity. Theo's passion grew for table tennis when a coach came to school and began talking about the sport. From that moment onwards, his passion grew, says his mother Mandy Bishop. "Theo raised money for a life changing operation in 2012. We raised £48,000 to take him to America for a treatment which would allow him to stand without a frame. He has never looked back since and walks with a seat flap when he gets tired after walking long distances."

Later this year, Theo will attend a specialist table tennis college (Grantham College in Lincolnshire) to pursue his ambitions. He will train for two years away from home. Theo studies PE as one of his GCSE options and is expected 8 and 9's in his GCSE's. He hopes to study A-levels at the training academy. Mandy said "Theo has had to train really hard for this alongside balancing his school work. He had to have physio 16 hours a week to help him with his mobility after his operation, but he did not let it stop him from achieving his goals. He has already said that he wants to learn how to drive and has booked lessons in advance. Nothing can stop him and he is really passionate about this."

Theo has already represented Great Britain in the British Para Table Tennis competitions in Spain and Sweden.

Picture: Theo at British Para Table Tennis Competition 2018 – He won 2 bronze medals and 'player of the year' trophy.

Theo Bishop with two bonze medals and player of the year trophy at British Para Table Tennis Competition 2018

The Local Area Partnerships (LAPs) provide two-way communication between families and senior practitioners. Each monthly meeting is hosted by the Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) who enables families to identify and address SEND issues at a local level. The LAPs meet in schools in the north, east and south of Lancashire and have representatives from health, education and the local authority who talk with parent carers and young people about their needs and identify any gaps in services.

To raise a question or concern in your area please contact your DCO before the next meeting:

Area DCO Email Next meeting
North Kathleen Freear 18th June
South Anne Hardman  
East Carole Kay 11th June

Each LAP meeting is attended by at least one parent carer representative who will help ensure your voice is heard.

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.

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

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

16 September 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


Local Area Partnership

Local Area Partnership (LAP) meetings allow representatives from the SEND Partnership to discuss local issues in the north, south and east of Lancashire. The meetings are organised by the designated clinical officer (DCO) and includes members from education, health, the local authority and the parent carer forum.

Schools and families can raise local concerns about SEND services by contacting your local DCO. Any issue which can't be resolved at local level will be raised to the SEND Partnership Board.

Meeting notes



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  May 19 July 19 
POET survey re-launched Draft improvement plan published with partners New working groups hold first meetings 2019-2020 Improvement Plan published Parent Carer Forum Participation training workshops Inclusion Service host education engagement events

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  or view our events on Eventbrite.