11:13 am, Thursday, 13th July 2023

Delivering Better Value in SEND Launch Summary

The Delivering Better Value (DBV) in Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) launch was held on 12th July at Grimsby Town Hall. The event was attended by representatives from schools and providers across North East Lincolnshire. Presentations were given by Rob Walsh, (Chief Executive of the Council and ICB) Helen Kenyon, Janice Spencer, (Director of Children’s Services) Rebecca Taylor (Head of SEND and Inclusion) and Nev Wilkinson (Headteacher at Littlecoates Primary School) who collaboratively delivered the key messages within this article.

DBV in SEND is an important part of transforming the support that our children and young people with additional needs can receive in North East Lincolnshire. Nationally, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, has expressed her concerns about lack of support for children with Special Educational Needs in mainstream education and long waiting times for EHCPs as demand reaches new highs. In June of this year she has published a report calling for a ‘radical rehaul of the SEND system’ and ‘swift implementation of the SEND Improvement Plan’.  The full report can be found here.

Latest Department for Education statistics shows that almost 400,000 children are in receipt of an EHCP – up 9.5% from 2022 and nearly 1.2 million children in England have special educational needs support without an EHCP – up 4.7% from 2022.

The North East Lincolnshire (NEL)  picture is no different – locally NEL  have nearly 1400 children with EHCPs, and a further 3,200 children receiving support in their education settings. The number of Education, Health, and Care Assessment Requests (EHCAR) received in North East Lincolnshire have increased each month over the last academic year

Partnership working is crucial to transforming support available to our children and young people across the borough. Health and Education are working together to increase capacity in speech and language for two years to support bringing waiting list times down alongside developing capacity in schools through training on the ELKLAN practitioners’ course to deliver targeted speech interventions.  This is happening alongside another project that has already rolled out the WELCOMM toolkit to all of the Early Years settings in the borough.

Other major projects running alongside the Delivering Better Value in SEND project, include a 150 place Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) special school and additional places in resource specialist provision.  Our ambition is to develop up to 60 Primary places across the borough Our first Primary provision at Littlecoates Academy opened at Easter with six places for children in KS1, a further six places will be available from September 2023.

Based on the differing perceptions of inclusion between education settings, and families, it is crucial that each education setting understands their own baseline of where they are at with their SEND provision. In September, the main programme of activity to Deliver Better Value in SEND will kick off with the launch of a SEND evaluation. Each of our sixty mainstream schools and post sixteen colleges will benefit from a day of a specialist SEND consultant to help them evaluate their setting and create an action plan for development. With a common and comprehensive understanding of the strengths and areas for development in each setting, the DBV steering group will then be able to identify and suggest additional training and support that can be commissioned from January 2024.

Workforce development opportunities are advertised on the NEL SEND Local Offer and starting from the Autumn Term will include:

  • Autism Education Trust modules
    • ELKLAN practitioner training
    • BUSS model introductory training
    • Trauma informed practitioner training
    • IPSEA SEND legal training
    • SMART targets workshop
    • Open afternoon events in our special and alternative settings
    • SENCo Forum

The NELC DBV project is being delivered from 01/04/23 to August 2025 If you require any further information or have a question for the project team, please don’t hesitate to contact the project manager, Anita.havercroft@nelincs.gov.uk