Lancashire SEND Partnership

Lancashire SEND Partnership

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

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 deliver the best outcomes for children, young people and their families.

The report by Ofsted and CQC highlighted a number of significant areas of weakness, which is a concern to everyone involved.

Since the report was published we have established the SEND Partnership Board produced an action plan, made some significant changes to improve key areas of services and recruited new people to the team.

The Department for Education (DfE) will be holding regular reviews to monitor our progress.

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

Latest news

We have listened to the views of parents, carers, young people and professionals and written a vision for the future of the Lancashire SEND Partnership. Although there is a great deal of work to be done and we know we are not there yet, we have high aspirations and share a commitment to achieve change. It is our vision to be able to describe our services and our partnership in this way:

  • We are passionate about planning for and meeting the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities;
  • We work together, as equal partners, who understand and listen to each other;
  • Our highly regarded services are child centred, accessible and responsive;
  • Our children and young people are supported to achieve their potential and ambitions, as valued members of the community.

We have high aspirations and share a commitment to achieve this change. We also know we are not there yet and there is a great deal of work to be done to make this vision a reality.

A strategy is a plan of action to help achieve a vision.

Our strategy covers the support and services for children and young people with SEND and sets out the improvements we want to make over the next two years. It also suggests what we need to consider about the way we deliver and fund services.

It has four important priorities based on our vision for the future:

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 priorities will form the basis of the improvement plan for 2019 to 2021. 

The SEND local offer for Lancashire is going to receive a makeover. Feedback from everyone in the Partnership is being used to develop a new website that better meets our shared needs.

Parents and carers expressed their views in the summer and will be invited to take part in more consultation very soon.

A workshop with young people was held recently at Sir Tom Finney Community High School. Pupils from year eleven took part in a design class, supported by the University of Central Lancashire, to create a new brand and mascot for the local offer.

More classes will be held in January and the final design will be published early 2019.

If you would like to take part in the re-development, please email

Lancashire County Council has appointed Edwina Grant OBE as the new executive director for education and children's services.

Edwina comes with a wealth of experience including her current role as national children's services adviser for the Local Government Association.

She will take up the position from John Readman who has been working on an interim basis since January. Edwina will also assume the role of chair of the Lancashire SEND Partnership from 17th December onwards.

We look forward to welcoming Edwina and thank John for his leadership and guidance over the last 12 months.

The forum has been set up by a group of independent parents and carers of children and young people who have additional needs and live in Lancashire.

They have worked with an associate from Contact, which has been asked by the Department for Education (DfE) to set up similar forums across the country, in areas where the previous forum has been discontinued.

The newly elected interim chair is Sam Jones with Melissa Palmer elected as interim vice chair. They are working with a small steering group to develop a vision for the forum and begin to work with more parents from across Lancashire.

Sam recently attended training with parent carer representatives from across the region at the north west regional training day. They also represented Lancashire at the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) and at their National Conference in Coventry. Speakers included representatives from NHS England and Nadhim Zahawi, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DfE.

There are 93,000 members of similar Parent Carer Forums across the country and representatives from the national steering group are able to speak directly to the policy makers working in Government.

The Lancashire PCF will be working locally to gather the voice of parents and carers in Lancashire and working as a strategic partner on the SEND Partnership Board and with other key decision making boards.

Please email for more information.

SEND Service is hosting a number of engagement events across Lancashire for parents and carers. Each drop-in session will provide an opportunity to meet local health professionals for work with children and young people with SEND. 

Parent carers will also be able to ask for information and advice about SEND services and share experiences.

We will shortly publish the dates for each event on the SEND local offer.

In October, over 600 SEN co-ordinators (SENCOs), SEND officers (SENDOs) head teachers and early year's managers attended eighteen events to contribute to developments and learn more about the SEND Partnership. They also took part in workshops to improve processes:

  • Head teachers informed the key themes for the new SEND Partnership strategy.
  • SENCOs and SENDOs co-produced new quality standards for education health and care (EHC) plans.
  • Early year's managers identified ways of supporting pre-school children with early identification of needs.

The events provided an opportunity to work more closely together. More events will be arranged for 2019.

Colleagues from the SEND Partnership and SEND Services at the event held at Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Burnley

(Pictured are colleagues from the SEND Partnership and SEND Services at the event held at Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Burnley)

Over 240 SEN Coordinators (SENCOs) representing 218 schools have worked together with SENDO's in the local authority to produce new quality standards for Education Health and Care (EHC) plans.

The five quality standards are:

  1. The views, wishes and feelings of CYP and their families have been included within the plans.
  2. Plans are clear, concise, understandable and accessible.
  3. Plans are evident of partners coordinating and working together with the CYP and family.
  4. Plans have clear needs identified.
  5. Plans have specific outcomes identified.

An audit programme has been agreed which will review the compliance and, quality of the plans.

The framework for improving the quality of EHC plans (PDF 685 KB) has been developed by working group four.

Contact, the charity for families of disabled children, hosted a conference at the Hallmark Hotel Leyland on 26th November. The event helped Lancashire parent carers grow their support groups and network with other people in their area.

The day was supported by the Lancashire SEND Partnership, Barnardo's, CVS and ADHD northwest.

Parent carers seeking more information can email or call the free helpline on 0808 808 3555.

Gareth Jenkins, communications and engagement lead for the Lancashire SEND Partnership, with a representative from Contact

(Pictured is Gareth Jenkins, communications and engagement lead for the Lancashire SEND Partnership, with a representative from Contact.)

A new diagnostic pathway has been developed through the SEND Partnership working group 2 following engagement with parent, carers, young people, and health and education professionals.  

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.

Further engagement is planned for January 2019 with parents, carers, charities, health, social care and education colleagues. The four key elements will be discussed in more detail and tested.

To get involved with the next stage, please email

A new online tool provides access to school population data for children with SEND. The webpage helps display accurate information in an easy to read dashboard. 

It is currently hosted by Lancashire County Council and supported by the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

The tool will continue to be developed to display a wide range of information – any feedback will be welcomed by emailing

So far, more than 1,000 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.

The survey is part of the ongoing national pilot to help local areas understand the impact of the SEND reforms.

The survey takes less than 15 minutes to complete online using one of these links:

The survey is still open and you can complete it online using one of these links:

The findings are being used to inform improvements and will enable us to understand more about what we are getting right and where we need to continue improvement. Read the 2017/18 report

The SEND Partnership Board

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

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

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

Next meeting

1 April 2019

Meeting notes

Action plan

Our action plan, also known as a written statement of action, sets out the changes we need to make to address the recommendations that Ofsted and the CQC made in their report.

The action plan has been produced by the key partners who form the SEND Partnership Board which is accountable to the Health and Wellbeing Board, the NHS and the council.

Working together is very important to making the plan succeed. Further development will take place with individual working groups including children, young people and their families.

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

We will provide more details about these roles here soon.



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

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 and our Facebook page.