News and events for SEND children and young people

The latest news and events for families, including the annual inclusion conference, and events, funding news, plans and consultations.

Inclusion conference 2018: Let's Communicate Together

The conference took place in June 2018, and was co-produced by NYPACT (North Yorkshire Parent and Carer Forum) and the inclusion service to support children and young people with SEND, their families, and schools or settings. The day included keynote presentations from Jean Gross CBE, former national Communication Champion; Anna Branagan of ‘Word Aware’, and from young people, as well as a wide variety of workshops, including:

  • play therapy;
  • whole school approaches to speech and language needs and to autism;
  • joining up ‘Early Journey’ support from a NYPACT parent;
  • drama therapy;
  • support at early years;
  • strategies for children and young people who are demand avoidant;
  • screening for speech, language and communication needs, and more.

There was also opportunity to browse information stands and to experience The Forest School signing choir.

Consultations, plans and news

We recently consulted on proposals for changing how we allocate some aspects of the high needs budget, to support children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.

This consultation closed on 11 November 2018.

You can see more information about the consultation here.

We are responsible for reviewing how special education is provided in North Yorkshire, and for making sure there are enough places in education for children and young people with SEND. We work closely with parents, carers, young people, local groups, education providers and professionals so we can meet this responsibility in the best possible way.

During 2017 and 2018 we heard from parents, carers, children and young people and professionals about their views on how special education is provided. This helped us develop an overarching strategic plan for how we will provide educational support for young people with SEND in North Yorkshire in the future.
 
We held a public consultation on our final plan during May and June 2018. The consultation has now closed, but you can still read the documents here.

The final plan

The  final plan has been approved by the executive, and can be found here (pdf / 3 MB). We are now delivering the actions in the plan.

You can also read a  summary document in plain English (pdf / 570 KB) or  easy read (pdf / 600 KB) format.

We would like to thank everyone who has shared their time and thoughts to help us to develop the strategic plan.

We will receive funding to increase the number of places and improve facilities for children and young people with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) who have education, health and care plans.

The total amount of special provision capital funding is £616,279 which has been allocated to North Yorkshire over three years. This was recently increased. There are specific guidelines from the Department for Education on how we can use the funding.

The executive approved the first plan for use of the special provision capital funding on 13 March 2018. Following this decision we published the  plan for using this funding (pdf / 154 KB). We also developed a  covering report (pdf / 284 KB) that provides further information.

We received the first part of this funding in August 2018 and the planned work is taking place.

Since we published the plan other capital funding has been agreed for work on the project at The Forest School. This means that we will be able to make more proposals for using the funding in years two and three. We are planning to consult on these proposals in early 2019 and there will be more information about this in due course.

A number of changes to the home to school transport policy have been made following consultation.

  1. Removal of the free transport statement for special educational needs and disability (SEND) students, aged post 16 to 18, with an education health and care plan (EHCP) from September 2018, to bring it in line with mainstream transport arrangements;
  2. Recognise SEND post-19 students as adults in education, and identify unmet transport needs in line with the council’s adult social care assessment; and
  3. Increase parental transport allowance to 45 pence per mile for all school aged children, when no other transport option is available.

Following a decision on 16 May 2018 the revised home to school transport policy was approved by the council. However, it was agreed that the enhanced parental transport allowance would be subject to a further 30 day consultation to provide more information for parents and carers on how the allowance would be calculated. The consultation was held between 18 June and 13 July 2018. The outcome of the consultation was considered by the corporate director for the children and young people's service and the lead executive member. A final decision was made on 24 July.

It was agreed that the enhanced parental transport allowance will be implemented following consultation on the best way to take account of individual circumstances. The allowance will only be available to solo travellers with an education, health and care plan and is a voluntary agreement with families. The allowance will be introduced for parents and carers with children who are eligible for transport assistance and require additional support and supervision from someone other than the driver, as identified as part of their assessment of special educational needs.

The meeting notes about the decision can be found here. If you would like more information, please email gail.chester@northyorks.gov.uk.

We recently consulted on changes to the provision of overnight short breaks for families with disabled children and young people.

This consultation closed on 19 June 2018.

You can see more information about the consultation here.

We recently consulted on changes to our policy for home to school transport, specifically for those with special educational needs or disabilities.

The consultation has now closed. Recommendations for the proposed changes to the home to school transport policy will be discussed at the executive meeting on 24 April. You can find out more about the proposed changes here.

The government consulted on proposals to change the blue badge scheme to include people with non-physical conditions. This would include dementia and autism.

This is part of the government’s objective to ensure that those people with the greatest need have access to badges, whilst ensuring the scheme remains sustainable.

The consultation closed on 18 March 2018.

You can see the progress of this consultation on the GOV.UK website here.

Twice each year, in May and November, we will be inviting you to come along to meet members of the North Yorkshire special educational needs and disabilities service. 

We will be visiting five locations across the county based on feedback received from families, and this is an opportunity for you to find out about developments in SEND and to speak to representatives from various support services. Whilst they are not intended for individual case discussion, we will be able to point you in the right direction should you be experiencing difficulty. 

You will also have an opportunity to let us know how you would like us to work with you in future to develop our services. We appreciate any feedback you provide and will continue to respond to your comments. NYPACT and local parents support groups are helping us to manage these events and will also be available where possible.

More details of the events will be shown here soon, but if you would like to receive information from us directly, why not join our virtual reference group? This is a way of us keeping in touch with you directly so you don’t miss out on any opportunities of information. Just send us an email that you would like to register for our virtual reference group and we will send you emails from time to time with information and updates. 

These events are not intended to be used for individual case discussion; if you need to speak to someone about your child, please contact he SEN admin team on 01609 532299 or email sen@northyorks.gov.uk.

The latest national data release has revealed North Yorkshire is addressing the challenges presented by the new SEND code of practice challenge more effectively than other local authorities.

The timeliness of producing new education, health and care plans (EHCPs) in North Yorkshire is better than both the national and regional rate. The national rate for issuing EHCPs within the statutory 20 week timescale was 55.7 per cent. The rate in North Yorkshire was 73.9 per cent. 

North Yorkshire has also been revealed to be one of the most effective authorities in transferring children with special needs from the old statement of SEN provision to the new EHC plan provision. The national rate of transfers from statements to EHCPs at the beginning of 2016, was 32.7 per cent, whilst in North Yorkshire it was 61.3 per cent. Additionally, the national increase in funded EHCPs and statements since the end of June 2016 was 12 per cent, with the rate of increase in North Yorkshire at 16 per cent.