Lancashire SEND Partnership

The Lancashire SEND Partnership brings together all the agencies in Lancashire which provide special educational needs and disability (SEND) services for children, young people, their parents and carers, with representatives from those who use the service.

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

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 SENDPartnership@lancashire.gov.uk.

Our values

Parents, carers, young people and professionals have all been involved with creating the new values for the Lancashire SEND Partnership. They are:

Inclusion: Belonging and involvement
Integrity: Honesty, trust and fairness
Respect: Value, regard and reliability

These values will guide the way we behave towards each other and help create a culture of understanding.

News

On 29 March 2022 the Government published the SEND Review: Right support, right place, right time, a consultation on the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision system in England.

The consultation document sets out proposed reforms to the SEND and alternative provision (AP) system seeking to address three key challenges:

  • poor outcomes for children and young people with SEN or in alternative provision
  • navigating the SEND system and alternative provision is not a positive experience for children, young people, and their families and;
  • despite unprecedented investment, the system is not delivering value for money for children, young people and families

We are holding a series of events on this review. Each event will provide an overview of the consultation paper and most importantly provide an opportunity to hear our partners' views on the proposals. We want to hear from all our partners, including children, young people and their families along with professionals who provide SEND services.  We hope you'll be able to join us and give us your views.

We will use the information gathered at these events to collate a Lancashire Partnership consultation response whilst also encouraging you to submit your own individual responses.

Events will take place online via Microsoft Teams on:

  • Wednesday 18 May 10am-12pm and
  • Monday 23 May 12.30pm-2.30pm

(Please note –it is only necessary to attend one event)

We hope you are able to join us! Please register soon using the following link and we will be in touch with further information. Lancashire SEND Partnership- DfE SEND Review Information Event Tickets on Eventbrite

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Sufficiency Strategy 2019 – 2024 has been developed to help the county council meet increases in demand and support more children and young people to be educated within their local community.  As part of this strategy several SEND Units are being opened across the county. 

What is a SEND Unit?

A SEND Unit is a supportive environment within a mainstream school for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) who need additional specialist support at times during the week.

It enables children and young people with SEND to attend and enjoy the benefits of a mainstream school by accessing the mainstream curriculum and taking part in other activities with their peers.  It includes specialist facilities and staffing and can draw on specific expertise when needed, such as therapists.

SEND Unit provision benefits children and young people by supporting them to:

  • attend their local school or one near to their home
  • attend the same school as their siblings
  • play and learn alongside peers
  • join in mainstream lessons and activities where appropriate

Lancashire SEND Units

Lancashire currently has four SEND units for up to 48 primary aged children:

  1. St Leonard's Voluntary Aided Church of England Primary School, Burnley, opened in September 2021 and provides specialist support for children with social communication and interaction needs.
  2. Barrowford Primary School, Barrowford, opened in September 2021 and provides specialist support for children with social emotional and mental health needs.
  3. Delph Side Community Primary School, Skelmersdale, opened in January 2022 for children with social communication and interactions needs.
  4. Highfield Community Primary School, Chorley opened in February 2022 for children with social communication and interactions needs.

Planned Lancashire SEND Units

Lancashire has plans for more SEND Units and the following are confirmed:

East of the County

  1. Barden Primary School, Burnley, will provide support for children with social communication and interactions needs, opening April 2022.
  2. Walverden Primary School, Nelson, will provide support for children with social communication and interactions needs, opening April 2022.

North of the County

  1. Morecambe Bay Community Primary School, Morecambe, will provide support for children with social communication and interactions needs, opening September 2022.

South of the County

  1. Seven Stars Primary School, Leyland, will provide support for children with generic learning difficulties, opening September 2022.
  2. Ashton Community Science College, Preston, will provide support for children with social communication and interactions needs, opening September

Plans for more SEND Units are in development for Lancashire and updates will be provided as these progress.

Admission to SEND Units

  • All children and young people attending SEND units will have an education, health and care plan.
  • The special educational provision identified in a child or young person's education, health and care plan will be more than can reasonably be expected to be provided by a mainstream school without a SEND unit.
  • Young people and/or the parents or carers of children can request a place at a SEND unit. It is expected that a request will be after an education, health and care needs assessment has been completed or following an annual review.
  • Careful consideration will be given to all assessment and review information provided as part of the request by a multi-agency panel. The panel will decide whether a particular SEND unit is appropriate to the age, stage of development and ability of the child or young person.
  • All relevant information on the child or young person’s needs will be forwarded to the school as part of the formal consultation on the placement in line with the SEN Code of Practice 2014.
  • The local authority will seek the views of the school on the suitability of the placement before making a final decision. The local authority will have regard to the number and profile/balance of needs within the SEND unit.

Review, Monitoring and Evaluation

The headteacher and governing body of the school will have overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the SEND unit.

Successful outcomes for child or young person will include clear progress in their learning and development.  Progress will be measured through the statutory annual review process.

Transfer out of the SEND Unit to mainstream provision

Recommendations for a child or young person moving from a SEND unit to another mainstream school may be made following an annual review meeting. Where a recommendation is made, the following would normally apply:

  • the child or young person has made more than expected progress in comparison with other children and young people attending the SEND unit
  • measurable progress has been made in the child or young person's areas of identified needs to meet his/her outcomes
  • there is a noticeable improvement in the child or young person's ability to participate in the mainstream curriculum, with reduced levels of support, and to manage the social demands of the school environment

Transfer out of the SEND Unit to a different specialist provision

Recommendations for a child or young person to move to a different specialist provision may be made following an annual review meeting. Where a recommendation is made, the following would normally apply:

  • the child or young person has made less than the expected progress in comparison with other children and young people attending the SEND unit
  • the special educational provision required by the child or young person cannot be provided within the SEND unit
  • limited progress has been made in meeting the child or young person's outcomes and in developing the independence, social and behavioural skills required to move towards greater participation in mainstream activities
  • there is evidence that the child or young person’s social and emotional wellbeing is becoming adversely affected

Assessment and other relevant information presented at a child or young person's annual review will be used to inform a decision about whether a change of placement is needed. This decision will be made by a multi-agency panel in the same way as for admission to a SEND unit.

The SEND Plan 2021-2025 was approved by the SEND Partnership Board in June 2021. Thank you to everyone who contributed to and shared views on the plan.

The SEND Plan is the strategic document that provides high level priorities, the benefits we expect to achieve, and the ways in which we will work together.

The SEND Plan was produced using information and feedback provided by over 160 people through 'Think SEND' events held in April and May 2021. People engaged with the process and gave meaningful and useful information that helped us develop the plan as we continue to improve SEND services across the partnership.

In June 2021 the draft of the plan was shared with the SEND Partnership, and more than 100 people attended a range of 10 consultation events, or responded using an online survey or via email, providing feedback and suggestions for further improvement of the document.

The SEND Programme Management Team is working with partners to identify how to deliver the plan, initially for the next 12-18 months.

Ofsted and the CQC carried out a SEND Local Area revisit in Lancashire between 9 and 12 March 2020. The revisit was to evaluate the effectiveness of Lancashire's progress in improving SEND services for children and young people against the twelve areas of significant concern identified during the November 2017 SEND Local Area Inspection.

Inspectors identified seven of these areas of significant concern as having sufficiently improved, and although there have been improvements in the remaining five areas, further on-going work is required.

We will respond to the findings in the report with a targeted action plan that addresses the five areas which continue to require improvement. This will be monitored by the Department for Education SEND Intervention Unit and NHS England.

You can view the reports on the Ofsted reports website and our news item provides more information about the report and our response.

One of the priorities for the SEND Partnership was to review Lancashire's SEND local offer, which is the information, advice, support and services available across Lancashire, for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Following an extensive review, work has been carried out over the last six months to revise the local offer website, which provides a central access point to this information. You can find the revised SEND local offer website at www.lancashire.gov.uk/SEND.

To help spread the word about the new local offer, please share this link or our electronic flyer (PDF 101 KB) with anyone you think may benefit from accessing the local offer. The flyer can be reproduced if required and included in newsletters, social media or on your own websites.

We will continue to share more about the changes taking place via regular updates on the SEND local offer website and Facebook page. In the meantime if you have any questions please get in touch with the SEND Partnership, SENDPartnership@lancashire.gov.uk.

Lancashire County Council's cabinet has agreed a number of proposals to increase the provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in Lancashire over the next five years. The county council needs to support the increasing number of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) that are developed for children and young people. An increase of 42% was experienced between 2014 and 2019. Ensuring that as many children as possible are educated in mainstream schools that are suitable to fit their needs is a paramount commitment of the county council, as well as ensuring that appropriate sufficient specialist provision is available. It is expected that at least another 213 special school places will be needed within the next five years. The county council is investing an additional £10m to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

For more information about this, please see the council's news article.

The SEND Partnership has agreed its ways of working (PDF 499 KB). This document was agreed at the SEND Partnership Board on 16 September.

The LPCF open event in October was a celebration of parent participation and the impact of how parents being involved with improvement work has been a positive change in our county over the past year.

Invited speakers spoke to parent carers on topics including how parents have been involved in the redesign of the Neurodevelopmental Pathway, the Short Breaks redesign and the development of the One Page Profile section of the Education Health and Care Plan.

Parent carers were given opportunities to share their views on selected topics, to post questions and comments either via the flip chart questions around the room or via the tabled questions. All these comments, questions and responses will be published in the Event Report which will be available in the coming weeks.

A child's first day at school can be nerve-racking for them and their parent/carers. Take a look at Lancashire County Council's video with hints and tips for getting your child ready to start school. If you would like more information about any help your child may need you can visit the special educational needs and disabilities local offer.

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
North Clair Martin bfwh.lcn-tr.dconorth@nhs.net
South Anne Hardman lcn-tr.dcosouth@nhs.net
East Sue Mounsey lcn-tr.dcopennine@nhs.net

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

 

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 210KB).

Due to the COVID-19 response, the Partnership Board meetings were stood down from March 2020 to July 2020, with delegated responsibility being handed to the SEND Operational Group in the interim. Meetings were reconvened from September 2020 online via Microsoft Teams.

Meeting notes

Leadership

The board is being led by senior post holders from the council and NHS:

  • Vice Chair - Edwina Grant OBE, Executive Director of Education and Children's Services, Lancashire County Council
  • Chair - Dr Julie Higgins, Joint Chief Officer with responsibility for SEND. Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Julie Bell, Interim Director of Education, Skills and Culture
  • Hilary Fordham, Chief Operating Officer, Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group

Publications

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.

Get in touch

If you would like to make a suggestion or have a comment about the Lancashire SEND Partnership, please email SENDpartnership@lancashire.gov.uk.

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.