2:32 pm, Monday, 27th September 2021

SEND Education and Inclusion Newsletter

Welcome back

We hope you had a restful and enjoyable summer break.
Please find within this newsletter/e-mail several crucial updates about SEND and Inclusion. Officers from education, health and social care have been working hard behind the scenes to provide some additional training opportunities and exciting pilot projects that NEL have been successful in being awarded.

SEND Update

SEND Survey

A huge thank you to all the education settings who completed the first self-evaluation of SEND this summer.

The results have provided some real insight into areas of both good practice as well as areas that schools and Academies are seeking further support for.

Local Authority officers will be sharing the results through various forums and meetings this half term, including the head teacher meetings, SENCo forum, ASPIRE and BAC meetings.

EHCP- Requests for assessments

We understand that schools, settings and parent/carers have become frustrated with the timeliness of education Health and Care Needs assessments and amendments following Annual Reviews. We wanted to share the reasons for this as well as the steps we are taking to address these difficulties.

We have been listening to parent/carers, schools and settings and we will be providing a regular half termly written update, as well as feeding back to our parent/carer groups, SENDIASS, Headteacher meetings and SENCO forum too.

  • Although we have continued to complete Education Health and Care Needs assessments (EHCNA) throughout the last 18 months including all lockdown periods, the timeliness of the completion rate has been significantly affected due to the impact of Covid-19. There has been an increase in the numbers of requests for assessment, which has put pressure on advice givers in the assessment process, such as educational Psychologists and health and social care advice givers to complete a high number of reports in a short timeframe.
  • Whilst all teams and services have continued to contribute to the assessment process, face to face assessments, particularly for EP assessment has proved difficult with national school closures, as well as bubbles closing to self-isolate has presented a high level of challenge for Educational Psychologists to complete the statutory work.
  • The table below shows the increase in requests for assessment over the last 20 months.
New requests for EHC needs Assessments 2020
20323311262741208 (so far)198 (so far)
New requests for EHC needs Assessments 2021
  • This is in addition to a significant increase in the number of requests for top up funding, changes to provision or requests for re-assessment are being made. At least 10 of these cases are considered each week too. This is putting immense pressure on the SEN Team and all of the services that contribute to an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment.
  • Recruitment of full time permanent Educational Psychologists continues to be a challenge in North East Lincolnshire, but we continue to work with a number of agencies to secure qualified and experienced Locum Staff who are able to support statutory assessment work.
  • Although prior to March 2020 the annual review process showed signs of pressure, the impact and response to COVID-19 have all impacted on the resulting back log of annual reviews in the 2020/21 academic year, which we are working hard to complete.
  • We have one full time and one part time Education Health and Care plan Co-Ordinators in total responsible for new EHCP’s within the SEN Team who work to produce a good quality plan as part of a co-production process to ensure that parent/carers and young people are satisfied that the plan is an accurate reflection of their needs and the outcomes they wish to achieve.
  • We are now in the process of recruiting for a further two EHCP Co-Ordinators to support with this work to improve the timeliness of issuing amended plans following annual review.
  • An additional two fixed term for 12 months EHCP Co-Ordinator posts are also underway to be recruited to. These two posts will focus on transition to post 16 and post 19, ensuring that young people’s plans are reflective of their current needs, and that there is a key focus on transitioning to adulthood and into appropriate training, employment or community activities. There are more young people with EHC plans at this phase of their education than we have previously experienced. Employment and training opportunities for this age group have been significantly hindered over the last 18 months, as retail and hospitality sectors who provide work experience and training opportunities have largely closed due to national COVID regulations.
  • The number of plans requesting amendments is also steadily increasing. This is a time-consuming process which means that each plan takes approximately 1 day to complete on average which equates to 260 amendments per EHCP Co-Ordinator, per year.

DfE Census year data

January 2017142
January 2018205
January 2019243
January 2020249
January 2021281
DfE Census year data. Children Age 16-25 in receipt of an EHCP

Positive achievements for annual reviews 2020/21

  • All 186 children due to transfer from primary school to secondary education received an amended EHC Plan naming a setting on or before the 15th February 2021 with 100% compliance.
  • 144 or the 154 school leavers received a final amended EHC Plan naming Post 16 destination on or before the 31st March 2021 with 93.5% compliance.

What we have done in response to feedback from settings /schools / colleges / parent / carers

  • Implementation of the EHCP Hub is moving into the final phase where all existing EHCPs are now uploaded to the Hub meaning that consultation, annual review and new request for assessment processes can now all take place through this system. Additional training sessions, short videos and self-help guides are also being updated on the Local Offer to reflect the FAQs that the team have been receiving.
  • We are working with social care managers to create a recovery plan to ensure that all plans have a social care contribution included as part of their annual review.
  • We have completed a communications and training plan for professionals to launch the Preparation for Adulthood framework to support all children and young people aged 14+ in smoother transitions across the services into adulthood.
  • We have completed a business case to seek investment for additional resources in the SEN Team to respond to the increase demand both in population and EHC plan amendments requested.
  • Our timeliness on the number of Education Health and Care Plan’s (EHCP’s) completed within timescale has improved in the last month from the difficult position we have been in for much of 2021.
  • A second year EP student joins the Educational Psychology team from this September who will be supporting statutory EHCP assessment work.
  • The Specialist Advisory staff will be supporting the Educational Psychology Team closely with their skills and experience, particularly around face to face cognitive assessments.
  • Additional administration capacity has been added to the Educational Psychology Team for this term to support with dissemination of completed assessments and reports.
  • We have updated and circulated all contact names and details of everyone within the SEN Team and the SEN Advisory Officer and Manager for each setting to contact.
  • We have written a proposal for reviewing the funding process attached to each banding criteria in response to feedback that resource being allocated in this way isn’t enough. Schools Forum working party will discuss this at their September meeting.
  • We continue to update and review the SEND Local Offer pages, to ensure that parents/carers and professionals have access to the most up to date information.
  • We have introduced Parent/carer drop ins with our new parent/carer engagement champion, Abi Fleming. Parents/carers can seek support with the EHCP Hub at the weekly sessions held at Central and Nunsthorpe Family Hub.
  • In order for the team to be able to address the backlog of amendments and very high number of new EHCP’s the SEN Team will need to focus completely on their statutory duties at this time and ask for your patience in responding to emails within 5 working days. They will only be able to attend phase transfer reviews and mediation meetings this term and will be available on their duty days to discuss any concerns.


The secondary BAC begins a new chapter this week following some ongoing work and consultation and co-design with our secondary headteachers. The first meeting of ASPIRE will take place in the usual Wednesday morning slot, chaired by Healing Science Academy and continuing to be supported by Jenni Steel and the inclusion team. The meetings have a refreshed referral route and form, that aligns to our Early Intervention model of working. Jenni Steel and the team have worked exceptionally hard over the last 12 months with secondary heads to ensure that we continue to move forwards collaboratively. Learning from this first half term, will be shared with the current Primary BAC members too, in order to develop this process further.

Specialist Advisory service

The specialist advisory service are moving to a different model of working, including the launch of their centralised triage system and new referral form. As part of this model, the team are currently working on improved training packages and services that Academies will be able to commission, later
on, in the year. Discussions with maintained schools will also be taking place this term, to identify what a package of SEND support from the team might look like. A training package for New and Inexperienced SENDCos begins on 7th October. This course will support, guide and inspire SENDCos to feel confident in their practice. (Booking form and flyer, attached.)

Autism in Schools project

North East Lincolnshire CCG and LA have been successful in their bid for undertaking the Autism in Schools Project. This is a really exciting opportunity to work with 10 schools across our Local Authority to support them with developing inclusive practice for ASD learners, endeavouring to keep children in mainstream schools and in area within their own communities. An expression of interest form is attached along with some additional information, and the details to join a further information and Q & A session for those settings who are interested in being part of the pilot over the next school year. Learning from this project will be shared with regional and national SEND and Autism leads as part of the launch of the new Autism strategy, released this summer by central government.

Autism in Schools Expression of Interest Form (Word, 176KB)

Governor training

In direct response to the SEND survey, we are able to offer two initial sessions for SEND Governors that will be delivered via TEAMS and in conjunction with Whole School SEND consortium. The sessions are aimed at those who are in a SEND Governor or Chair of Governor role. Registration is through Eventbrite, details are on the flyer. If you are able to share this with your governing board, it would be much appreciated.

EHCP Hub update

The next update to the EHC Hub will be released to all live systems on Monday, 27 September, before 9:00am. This will be version 7.3.0.

What’s included in the update?

  • A Coordinator can record exceptions to statutory timeframes that have been missed for current and historical cases
  • A SENCo can return to the “Contribute Views” stage of a review from the “Meeting” stage
  • A SENCo can edit the review meeting details at any time until the review report has been submitted
  • A SENCo can download a request for assessment which is still being drafted
  • The EHC Hub will automatically calculate the child or young person’s age expected year group, keep that up to date and allow an adjustment for a child or young person that is not in their age expected year group.

Parent/carer engagement

We welcome Abi Fleming as a parent/carer engagement champion to the SEND team. Her role will be focusing on working with, and listening to the voice of parents/carers on the different areas of transformation happening across Children’s Services.
Abi will also be involved in our Autism in Schools Project too.
The first engagement events include, regular coffee mornings, workshops, and pop-up events.

Coffee Morning

Join us for a friendly chat over a cuppa at these drop-in sessions. Discuss your experiences and seek and share advice with other parents of children with SEND.
Get practical help and support to use the EHC Hub.
Our coffee mornings are open to all carers who help children and young people who need support or have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Central Family Hub, Edward Street, Grimsby, DN32 9HL

Nunsthorpe Family Hub, Sutcliffe Avenue, Grimsby, DN33 1AR

Contact Abi Fleming, SEND Parent Champion sendparentchampion@nelincs.gov.uk.
Call or text: 07552 743370.

Curriculum Support Workshops

There has never been a time when relationships between parents and schools have been more important. Would you like to build parental engagement in children’s learning and development? Join one or more of our FREE monthly curriculum workshops at Central Family Hub.

Dates for your diary
SEND Governor training
SAS Training for New and Inexperienced SENDCos – 7th October
Preparation for Adulthood conference 12th October
SENCO Forum – 8th November
Wellbeing programme dates 20th October 2021, 10:00-13:00 Council for Disabled Children Workshop – Working together in North East Lincolnshire: Reviewing the Access Pathway
This workshop brings together parent carers and professionals from across Education, Health and Social Care to review the work done so far on the Access Pathway, with a focus on parent carers’ experience of being involved.

Health and Wellbeing in Schools

Date and time

Book ‘Puberty session’ online training
Wednesday, 29 September
15:30 – 16:30

Book ‘Alcohol Education Trust- Secondary School’ online training
30 September, 3:30-4:45pm
4 October, 3:30-4:45pm

Book ‘How to teach body image within the classroom’ online training
6 October, 3:30-4:45pm

Book ‘Sexual Health Awareness’ online training
7 October, 3:30-5:00pm

Book ‘Alcohol Education Trust- SEND training’ online training
14 October, 3:30-4:45pm

E-learning– Young Minds Matter

Do these courses at a time that is convenient to you.
Low mood/depression
Physical Activity and Mental Health Suicidal Ideations
What is mental health? Self-harm
Music and CYP Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Social anxiety

New and Inexperienced SENDCO Training

As part of our continuous programme of training for new and inexperienced SENDCo’s, the following sessions are available.

Each session is £18 and includes training materials, resources, and a certificate of attendance. Sessions are held on Microsoft Teams.

Reserve your place, contact Jo Cooper: Josephine.cooper@nelincs.gov.uk.

Forms and Procedures
07/10/21-1.30pm – 3.00pm-1 ½ hours

EHCARs/VSEND tool and EHC hub
04/11/21-1.30pm – 3.30pm-2 hours

Person Centred Reviews/Annual re-views
09/12/21-1.30pm – 3.00pm-1 ½ hours

SEN Registers / SEN Information Reports
20/01/22-1.30pm – 3.00pm-1 ½ hours

Provision Mapping, Pupil Passports/My Plan

24/02/22-1.30pm – 3.30pm-2 hours

SAS Assessment Tools
17/03/22-1.30pm – 3.00pm-1 ½ hours

Transition including:
Strategies for SEMH from Claire Gordon
Strategies for ASD and I&C from Jane Razagui

05/05/22-1.00pm – 4.00pm- 3 hours

Effective strategies and Interventions including:
Strategies for SEMH from Claire Gordon,
Strategies for ASD and I&C from Jane Razagui

16/06/22- 1.00pm – 4.00pm- 3 hours

TA Management
14/07/22- 1.30pm – 3.00pm-1 ½ hours

New and Inexperienced SENDCO Training booking form (Word, 17 KB)

Every Governor, a Governor of SEND
Training opportunities for Governing bodies

Working with Whole School SEND, we are delighted to be able to offer two free training sessions aimed at members of Governing bodies, focussed on the responsibilities of the SEND Governor.
As the numbers of children with SEND continues to rise at a local as well as national level, it is more crucial than ever that Governing Bodies are fully informed about national and local context of SEND.

An introduction to SEND and Inclusion
Governors’ SEND Training – Session 1 An Introduction to SEND and Inclusion Tickets, Wed 6 Oct 2021 at 16:00 | Eventbrite

Effective SEND Governance
Governors’ SEND Training – Session 2 Effective SEND Governance Tickets, Tue 2 Nov 2021 at 18:00 | Eventbrite

The sessions are open to any SEND Governor or Chair of Governors in North East Lincoln- shire. We would like all of our schools, Academies and Multi Academy Trusts to be represented at this highly informative and relevant training.

Sessions will be jointly delivered by Jane Starbuck from Whole School SEND and Rebecca Taylor, Head of SEND and Inclusion at North East Lincolnshire Council.

If you are interested in attending either session, please sign up through EVENTBRITE.

A confirmation e-mail will be sent to you, once you have competed registration with the TEAMS link in, to enable you to access the session.

Please speak to your SENCO, headteacher or senior leaders if you want to find out more about SEND in your setting.