Agenda item


Cabinet received a report on the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Inclusion Strategy 2021 – 23 and the associated SEND Improvement Plan.


RESOLVED that the updated Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Inclusion Strategy 2021 – 23 (Appendix 1), and the associated SEND Improvement Plan (Appendix 2) be approved.



A Cranmer, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, introduced the report and informed Members that the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy expired in December 2020.  Work had been going over the last 12 months to review progress against the Strategy and develop a new Strategy for the coming 3 years.  The report provided a summary of the work and set out the key elements of the new Strategy, and the associated SEND Improvement Plan.


The Strategy was a key document for the anticipated Ofsted/Care Quality Commission Local Area SEND inspection that was expected to happen in 2021.  The Strategy was a partnership document that had been co-produced.  It was “owned” and would be delivered by the local authority and key partners across the local area, including schools, health services and the voluntary and community sector.


The new Strategy aimed to capture the high aspirations Buckinghamshire had for all its children, recognising the additional support those with SEND might need to be able to achieve their goals.  As such, it adopted the same vision that the Children and Young People’s Partnership had set out for all children.


A public consultation had been undertaken between 2 March and 6 April 2020 to seek the views of stakeholders on the vision, principles and aims of the Strategy.  These were developed following engagement activities that started with young people at the “Shout Out for SEND” Conference in November 2019 and via the SEND Youth Forum.  Copies of the Conference Report and it’s detailed findings could be provided on request.


The views of parents/carers, schools and other professionals were critical to the development of the Strategy and a number of events had taken place to secure meaningful input.  These included:

-                     2 sessions with parents/carers facilitated alongside FACT Bucks, the Parent Carer Forum.

-                     Attendance at School Collaboration meetings for engagement with school professionals.

-                     Meetings with professionals working in a range of other services supporting children and young people with SEND including those in the local authority, health and the voluntary and community sector.


Following these events a multi-agency group had developed the draft Strategy, having evaluated and RAG rated progress against the improvement priorities identified in the 2017–2020 Strategy.  A number of strategies from other Local Authorities were also reviewed, as well as guidance from the DfE on what a SEND Strategy should include.  FACT Bucks and Bucks SENDIAS Service were integral to this process, representing the voice of parents and carers.


Coproduction had been a key element of the development of the new Strategy, in particular with FACT Bucks.  The Vision, Principles, Aims and Objectives of the Strategy had been signed off at the SEND Integrated Services Board on 16 July 2020. This Board was chaired by the Corporate Director of Children’s Services and provided governance for the SEND Improvement work.  It included representatives from across the Local Authority, the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Voluntary and Community Sector.


The aims and objectives of the strategy were centred on the 4 Preparation for Adulthood outcomes defined in the SEND Code of Practice, Jan 2015, that were detailed in the report.  Focusing on these 4 areas had enabled all aspects of support and provision for children and young people with SEND to be considered, with the collective goal of creating opportunities and improving outcomes.


The SEND Improvement Plan had been refreshed to ensure the aspirations of the Strategy were achieved. This had led to a more streamlined approach with a range of work streams based around the key priorities, and rigorous monitoring of progress.  The work streams, known as Impact Groups, were multi-agency groups that were tasked with contributing to identified objectives within the Strategy, with collaboration and co-production as a core principle. The work of these groups was captured in the Local Area SEND Improvement Plan. This had been reviewed by the SEND Integrated Services Board on 19 October 2020 and the approach approved.


The SEND and Inclusion Strategy 2021-23, and the SEND Improvement Plan were attached as Appendix 1 and 2 respectively to the Cabinet report.


Members sought additional information and were informed:

·                    That the Strategy and Improvement Plan both had a very strong focus on inclusion.

·                    On the wide range of organisations, sectors and people that had been involved over the last year to develop the Strategy and the associated SEND Action Plan.

·                    That the most immediate priorities included responding to the growing needs of Autism Spectrum condition (which was on the rise nationally and locally), social / emotional / mental health issues, delivering educational placements, as well as preparations for adulthood and working with the community sector.

·                    That the Improvement Plan matched to all of the Strategy’s priorities.  Monthly Improvement Board meetings were held, chaired by the Director of Children’s Services, which set up scrutiny / challenge to processes so that any identified barriers to delivering the Strategy could be addressed.




That the updated Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Inclusion Strategy 2021 – 23 (Appendix 1), and the associated SEND Improvement Plan (Appendix 2) be approved.

Supporting documents: