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SEND transformation programme

Our vision is that Norfolk will be a county where:

  • All children and young people with SEND reach their potential and thrive
  • Parents are confident that there is enough good quality local SEND provision

We have produced an ambitious SEN sufficiency strategy to improve specialist provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Together with our partners, we brought in an external consultant called iMPOWER to help us analyse, benchmark and improve support for children and young people with SEND. Their research included talking to staff and conducting surveys of parent carers and those who support and work with, children and young people with SEND. Their report to us, is helping us define the improvement work.

To deliver this strategy, we are investing £120 million in a major SEND transformation programme of improvement work. We will also receive our share of additional SEND funding announced by the Secretary of State for Education on 17 December 2018. This money will enable us to:

  • Build up to four new schools for children with SEND
  • Provide an extra 170 places in specialist resource bases (hosted by mainstream schools)
  • Support and challenge mainstream schools to improve inclusion opportunities
  • Reduce the travel time for children and young people with SEND, who need to travel to their school placement

Management of the SEND transformation programme 

A SEND Programme Board has appointed a SEND Programme Manager to manage the transformation programme.

A programme structure has been agreed with five workstreams. Each workstream has a senior education Heads of Service lead, and a specialist team to support their work. Within each workstream there are several individual projects. There are currently 15 in total. Each project is being started up in accordance with its priority and inter-dependencies, prior to following a structured approach to delivery.

SEND transformation programme work in progress

1. SEND Support and inclusion  Helping mainstream schools to meet more children's needs locally by working with mainstream schools to support and challenge them to provide the best possible inclusion education for their local children.

Work in progress:

  • Revised Top-Up Funding Scheme
  • Improving the training offer to schools (info, advice, guidance)
  • Re-branding of the Inclusion helpline to ‘Inclusion support and advice line’
  • Monitoring mechanism for the ‘provision expected’ at SEN Support (and quality of teaching) 

In plan – not started:

  • Further development of SEND Forum for sharing best practice
  • Single Point of Access for SEND
  • Improved local offer website
  • Nurture provision
  • Point of service charging review
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities

2. EHCP performance improvement  Investing in our specialist education team to speed up assessments for Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans

Work in progress:

  • Improved 20-week process mapping and information technology to support this work
  • Preparation of EHCP coordinator training for the new 20-week process
  • Go-live planning for August 2019

In plan – not started:

  • Planning to reduce the 20-week backlog
  • Phase Review process improvements
  • Annual Review process improvements

3. Infrastructure and new provision  Improving and expanding current special schools, building three new special schools and creating new 170 specialist resource base (SRB) places

Work in progress:

  • Special school specifications and consulting events completed
  • Design stages underway
  • Sponsor engagement events for Social Emotional Mental Health school and Cognition and learning school held
  • SRB consulting events completed
  • Communication issued to gather expressions of interest for having an SRB
  • Project mandate is being developed for the expansion/refurbishment of existing special schools
  • Student Support Hubs project and dependencies being scoped

4. Alternative provision and inclusion Ensuring that when children and young people require 'alternative education', it is provided promptly, it reduces exclusions and supports re-integration back to mainstream school

Work in progress:

  • A detailed draft Project Mandate has been produced
  • Meeting held to review the proposed mandate
  • Proposed timescales documented

In plan – not started:

  • Map existing registered provision and non-registered Alternative Provision (AP)
  • Define new AP offer for Norfolk
  • Produce operating model for AP entry and exit of pupils
  • Define Student Support Hubs 
  • Produce an Operating Model for Student Support Hubs

5. SEND finance recovery plan  Reviewing how we currently spend the £80 million for SEND in in Norfolk, within the 'high needs block'. This to ensure that we can live within our means and target support where it is needed most - with education providers who are 'Good' and 'Outstanding'.

Work in progress: 

  • The Programme financial model has been updated/reset with current delivery dates from other workstreams
  • A potential source for live financial child placement tracking has been demonstrated to the team

In plan – not started:

  • Creating/configuring the live financial child placement solution
  • Creating a cost (Capital and Revenue) benefit tracker for the programme

Involving key stakeholders

There will be the opportunity for key stakeholders and stakeholder groups to give their views at different stages of the SEND transformation programme. Their involvement will help shape the programme and its improvement activity.

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