Improving Special Educational Needs and Disabilities support in Staffordshire
Staffordshire is a great place to live and learn. Offering children and young people the best start in life, and the chance to achieve their full potential is a real priority.
We have a vision that “all children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are given the opportunity to achieve everything that they can. They engage with the right support at the right time from their parents and carers, the community and the professionals that work with them to make this happen.”
The SEND landscape in Staffordshire
In 2018/19, only 16,300 pupils required SEN Support or an EHCP. As of 2023, 16% of children (21,000) in Staffordshire schools currently require SEN Support or have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
The overall SEN population has therefore increased by almost 30% over the past five years. In total, Staffordshire currently maintains 6,977 EHCPs for children and young people aged between 0-25, and almost half (3,200) currently attend a special school.
Not all children who have a special educational need or disability need to attend a special school. The level and type of support a child needs to reach their full potential can vary hugely and many children can be well- supported in their local schools.
We currently see fewer children with an EHCP attend mainstream schools in Staffordshire than elsewhere in the country, (currently 30% in Staffordshire and 40.5% nationally). Children with special educational needs and disabilities also do not achieve as well as other children in Staffordshire and parents and schools tell us they are frustrated with the lack of consistency of support across the county.
This has made us question what we can do with the resources we’ve got to improve the way children with SEND are supported to learn and achieve in their local schools, have friends and live and grow in their home communities.
Achieving this is highly complex; children have a wide range of different needs, the county is big and different areas face different challenges, the way schools and education works is changing and there is continuing pressure for all public sector partners around funding.
When it comes to supporting children with special educational needs or disabilities to learn and achieve, there are many examples of excellent practice across the county, and we intend to learn from and build on these.
What we are trying to improve
We have been working with our partners to co-design and co-produce two new ways of working that will aim to improve SEND services in Staffordshire. These are:
Enhanced Assess, Plan, Do, Review Pathway
The EAPDR Pathway will enhance the educational setting’s capacity to meet a child or young person’s SEND needs by accessing the right support, in the right place, at the right time.
The EAPDR Pathway sets out a clear methodology to ensure schools and educational settings are supported to access further additional advice, support and resources in order to meet the needs of children and young people in their setting.
A new Staffordshire Enhanced District Inclusion Support (SEDIS) Model M
In order to ensure all children and young people achieve their full potential, SEDIS will support educational settings to remove barriers to learning and support the development of inclusive and relational learning environments.
Outcomes of the consultation
The consultation for these strategies was open from 17 May 2023 – 5 July 2023. During this time, we also held several engagement sessions with parents and professionals.
The consultation had 344 people submit feedback. Additionally, 562 unique users downloaded the documentation provided on the consultation page and 1,375 users visited the consultation page.
We have analysed the responses of 344 participants who shared their thoughts on the proposals during the consultation period. The feedback received from parents, carers, health care professionals, schools, and colleges has also been carefully considered in the decision-making process.
The responses to the consultation were largely favourable (agree/strongly agree) with only 25.5% (average for EAPDR) and 21.9% (average for SEDIS) of respondents selecting unfavourable responses (disagree/strongly disagree).
Based on the outcome of the consultation, the SEND and Inclusion Partnership Group have approved the recommendation to proceed with the proposed EAPDR Pathway and SEDIS model we consulted on between 17 May 2023 and 5 July 2023.
The proposals will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 20 September 2023. This meeting will provide an opportunity for further review and deliberation on the proposed initiatives.
The Local Authority will, subject to Cabinet approval, seek expressions of interest from educational settings to develop SEDIS Teams across the eight districts. It is hoped that proposals will be forthcoming from groups of educational settings that represent all key stages of education. Expressions of interest will be especially welcomed from groups of mainstream educational settings in collaboration with special schools and Pupil Referral Units and will need to be submitted between the 2 and 20 October 2023.
More information can be found in the below documents:
The below timeline lays out the milestone that will be taking place over the next few months.
|Submission of expressions of interest from educational settings to develop SEDIS Teams
||2 - 20 October
Stay up to date
If you would like to be kept up to date by email, you can sign up to the SEND newsletter. Once you have put in your email, under the ‘Education and Children’ tab you will need to tick ‘Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Update’.
If you are a parent or carer you can join the Parent Carer Forum. You can find out more about the forum by visiting the Staffordshire Parent Carer Forum or by emailing email@example.com.
If you are a young person with special educational needs and disabilities, you can get in touch with The Voice Project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by joining their Facebook page ‘The Voice Project Staffordshire’.