Norfolk's SEND Local Offer in development

Norfolk’s SEND Local Offer is constantly being developed. Find out about new, planned and proposed special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision below. This includes schools, educational establishments and SEND support.

In development

We have asked for views about where we need more specialist school places in Norfolk. We used your views to write a SEND sufficiency strategy. This sets out a broader and more ambitious plan for specialist provision for children and young people with SEN and disabilities. This was discussed by the Policy and Resources Committee on the 29 October 2018.  Read further information.

This is our up-to-date list of initial priority projects, to increase the number of local school places for children with SEN.

  • We have begun early feasibility on the re-use of former Alderman Swindell Infant School. We will explore the possibility of a state funded all through school, for children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Secondary school projects to establish Specialist Resource Base (SRB) places for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the east and west of the county
  • Primary school project to establish SRB places for children with ASD in the south of the county
  • Special school projects to increase the capacity at existing special schools across the county

Coming soon! A special educational needs and disability (SEND) e-learning course. This will be accessible via our Learning Hub and the Local Offer and is currently under development. This training will provide existing SEND, health and social care professionals, and those that are new to SEND from all agencies, with a high level of knowledge and insight into SEND. Topics will cover:

  • General introduction to SEND
  • Relevant legislation
  • SEN support
  • SEN support across the age and stages
  • Preparing for adulthood
  • Health
  • Social care
  • Voluntary sector
  • SEND funding
  • Children and young people in specific circumstances

Further updates will be published here as the course development progresses.

We have reviewed our current support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and their families as they transition from Children's to Adult Services for health and social care.

The review involved representatives from

  • Children’s Services and Education
  • Adult Social Services
  • Health
  • Service users
  • User participation groups Family Voice and Dragons

Transition needs to be a positive experience for children and their families/carers. We are basing the review on the requirements and recommendations in the NICE guidelines, the Care Act and the Children and Families Act.  It will promote strengths-based approaches and our Care Act duties.  This should reduce the need for formal services.

The transition steering group looks at:

  • Improvements that can be made in the short term to support people going through transition
  • Identification of a model that will be developed for a new transition service for Norfolk

New developments

In May-June 2018, we asked Better Communication CIC to conduct an independent review of our contract with East Coast Community Health (ECCH). ECCH deliver a Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) service for children and young people in Norfolk. The review looked at the needs of the county’s children and young people, the workforce and how the service is funded and delivered. It also looked at how performance is measured.

Better Communication CIC spoke to families, staff and other key stakeholders to understand their experience of the current service. The review found:

  • The greatest need is in Norwich, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, and Great Yarmouth. There are higher levels of demand from South Norfolk than might be predicted
  • The current staffing model is over-reliant on support staff. There are insufficient staff to carry out assessment, and plan and deliver specialist interventions
  • There is not enough funding to provide the desired level of provision to children and young people with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) in Norfolk through this service alone. A wider strategy is needed to ensure the whole county has a joined-up approach

Better Communication CIC came up with several recommendations, which included:

  • We (the local authority) and NHS Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, should consider developing a strategy for improving speech, language and communication
  • Recognising budget challenges, consideration should be given to whether additional funding can be identified to:
    • Provide additional capacity to the current SALT service and training to support settings, schools, families and other professionals
    • Ensure early identification, early support and to better meet needs
  • Performance measures should be revised to include impact measures
  • The route into the service should be simplified
  • The link therapist model should be reviewed
  • Specialist need to be used to provide expertise when needed

In response to the recommendations:

  • A stakeholder group has been set up to develop the SLCN strategy 
  • An action plan has been signed off by commissioners, to implement changes to the current service 
  • Discussions are taking place across all partners to explore whether any more funding can be found to support SLCN in Norfolk

View the full review report by Better Communication CIC

In November 2018, we started a three month pilot scheme to do the parent carer needs assessment in a new way. The assessment, which is for parents who have a child with a disability, has been part of a full social work assessment until now. We are piloting making it a separate assessment, without the need for a full social work assessment. This will allow the needs of the parent carer to be the focus.

The pilot will be led by workers within the short breaks team, who have the knowledge and understanding of:

  • The needs of children with a disability
  • The impact that caring can have on a parent or carer

Visit parent carer needs assessment for further information.

A new independent travel training scheme has started in Norfolk. It provides support and training to young people enabling them to travel independently, boosting their confidence and wellbeing.

The scheme offers a daily home-to-school training journey over a number of weeks. It uses skilled travel trainers, supporting and teaching young people how to complete their journey safely and enjoyably. Each young person is matched with a trainer who will support them throughout their training. Additionally, trainers will aim to support personal development and build confidence, to help young people make a diverse range of journeys in the future.

Initially the scheme will focus on, but is not limited to Norwich. It is aimed at young people who are in school years 7-11, who are currently using specialised home to school transport.

For more details about the scheme visit HCT Group - independent travel training. Alternatively if you would like more information, contact Karl Chapman, Independent Travel Manager, email or telephone 01603 222707 or 07422 965187.

The Personalised Travel Scheme pilot (PTS) pilot is a scheme giving the family the flexibility to make their own travel arrangements to get their child to and from school. 

View more information about the PTS pilot

The Fen Rivers Academy is a special school that we have proposed. It has been sponsored by Catch22 Multi Academies Trust (MAT). The academy will offer full-time education and therapeutic support to 96 vulnerable children in the West Norfolk area. The children aged 4-16 years old, will have been referred by us as part of our duties to arrange SEN provision.

More information on the Fen Rivers Academy.

We have secured £107,000 from the Department of Education as part of the ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ initiative to increase pathways into employment for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

We want to use this funding to build on the good provision that is already established across Norfolk to provide training for job coaches with the aim of creating 20 supported internships within local businesses.

The job coaches will guide young people in the workplace and help employers to create a long-term employment opportunity so that the skills of young people who have SEND are recognised and valued.

What is a supported internship?

A supported internship is a study programme for young people (16-24 years) with an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) who want to work but need additional support to move into employment.  Supported internships are for a minimum of six months and include support in the workplace and ‘off job’ training with appropriate English and Maths skills.   

Support in the workplace is provided by a trained job coach. A job coach helps people with disabilities to learn and perform their work duties and develop interpersonal skills.  Job coaches work alongside interns, gradually tailoring down the level of support as the young person become more confident and settled in the role.

How will the project work?

The Supported Internships Project will deliver job coach training to organisations who commit to supporting placements for young people with an EHCP.

These organisations will receive funding for each supported internship created and continued through to a positive outcome.

Organisations are expected to engage their own employers.  However, we will create further opportunities by promoting supported internships and seeking support for the project and project participants from employers, employer groups, support groups and appropriate forums. 

What outcomes are expected from the project?

This project aims to increase the number of supported internships across the county by:

  • Training job coaches
  • Encouraging more providers to offer supported internships
  • Getting more young people with EHCPs into employment

How to get involved in the supported internships project


Providers should already be working with young people with SEND.  Applications from providers with experience of delivering supported internships are welcome, as are organisations seeking to offer this provision for the first time. 

New providers are encouraged to read the Government guidelines before finalising their offer.

The Supported Internships project is open for applications for free training provision for Job Coaches. Providers are invited to apply for places for BASE Supported Employment Techniques training, offered at two venues:

  • Norwich – November 2018
  • King’s Lynn – April 2019

For further information and to request an application form, please contact quoting supported internships.


There are clear benefits in providing a supported internship but many employers feel unsure about the level of support needed, possible disruption and cost of a placement.

Whilst Employers’ FAQs (see attached) will answer some concerns, the supported internship project can work one to one with managers and/or provide awareness raising sessions with staff to develop a more inclusive workplace. 

If you would like further information, please email

Parents and carers

Young people accessing a supported internship must be aged between 16 to 24 and have an EHCP.  They must also be ready for, and want to, work. 

Before taking on an internship, the young person should have undertaken work experience and possibly a traineeship.  Progression from both can be back into education; progression from a supported internship is expected to be into employment. 

Family support plays a key role in the success of a supported internship.  If you feel this is the right choice, please talk to your education provider about this opportunity.

Was this webpage helpful?