Vision proposed for organisations working with children with SEND

This story was published 20 October 2021

A consultation is taking place on a new strategy which sets out the aims and ambitions of education, health and care services for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in North Yorkshire.

SEND consultation graphic

People are being invited to give their feedback on the proposed North Yorkshire Local Area SEND Strategy, which has been developed collaboratively with ourselves, the county’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and Parent Carer Voice, which represents families with children and young people with SEND.

Children and Young People with SEND are more likely to be supported by a range of services and organisations, across education, health and care. The new local area strategy is being developed to make sure organisations are all working towards the same set of principles and strategic aims, which have been developed in partnership with young people, parents and carers and professionals.

The strategy aims to;

  • Identify early, the needs of Children and Young People with SEND
  • Work together to provide high quality services and provision at the right time
  • Improve the outcomes for children and young people with SEND
  • Strengthen communication, engagement and co-production with parents/carers, children and young people
  • Prepare young people for adulthood
  • Achieving best value

In devising the new strategy, we commissioned the Council for Disabled Children to carry out extensive, independent engagement with families and children and young people with SEND, as well as partner organisations, using forums, online webinars, surveys and individual consultations.

The engagement found that joint working was improving and should remain a key focus; options for young people once they reached 16 were improving and there was high quality support from key staff and services available.

The participants in the engagement who had accessed support from the new specialist SEND Hubs, which were implemented in September, felt that the support and training received was of high quality and was assisting in improving outcomes for children.

The engagement found families and young people would like to see more local provision in the future and a greater range of social opportunities for children and young people. Participants also expressed the importance of early identification of needs and proactive support, as well as the ongoing development of knowledge, skills and training within schools.

Cllr Janet Sanderson said: “Throughout summer we have been engaging with parents, carers, children and young people, as well as partner organisations through different forums to hear their views about what was important for children with SEND. We asked what has been working well and what needed further improvement to secure some of the best outcomes for children and young people.

“From the engagement, children and young people were clear that feeling valued by supporting adults, having friendship, social interests and developing their independence were priorities for them, as well as having meaningful prospects of employment in adult life.

“This strategy echoes that ambition for children and young people and ensures all our services and organisations in North Yorkshire are working together closely to achieve those aims.

“We want children and young people with SEND to receive appropriate support at the right time for them. We want them to be able to access suitable education, achieve their best outcomes and be well prepared for a fulfilling, healthy adult life.”

In North Yorkshire, there has been a rapid increase in the identification of SEND among children across the age range, from 0 to 25. Following focussed work by the partners to identify children’s needs sooner, North Yorkshire has a rate of growth that has been 30 per cent higher than seen nationally.

Due to the rate of increase in identifying children with SEND in the County, the number of children and young people with Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP) has more than doubled since 2014 to about 3,700.

This growth is expected to continue, with the number of children and young people with an Educational Health Care Plan expected to be more than 4,100 by 2025. 

The County Council and CCGs which serve North Yorkshire are keen to hear people’s comments and feedback on the proposal to agree a joint strategy for the local area. Any member of the public, or interested organisation can comment by completing the survey.

You can also request a hard copy or alternative format of the survey by emailing; SEND@northyorks.gov.uk or by writing to:

Central Admin Team
North Yorkshire County Council
County Hall
Northallerton
North Yorkshire
DL7 8AE