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Special educational needs and disability strategy consultation

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities strategy consultation

Our strategy

We're seeking your views on our draft strategy for supporting children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). 

Aims of the strategy

The aim of this strategy is to set out the goals we would like to achieve over the next 3 years, to help achieve our vision and reflect the changes in the law about how we support children and their families. We want to meet the new legal requirements in a way that is inclusive and realistic in a time of growing demand and in a very challenging financial climate. This strategy serves to provide a sense of direction and will support future planning in a time of significant change. It seeks to address those issues which are of principal concern at this stage and which, when achieved, will have maximum impact on the delivery of effective and efficient services.

We need your views

The strategy has been produced by officers, partners and special schools. It must reflect the views of parents, carers and young people from Wokingham, as well as wider partners in the voluntary sector and the whole school sector. It is built upon a shared belief that considering and providing for the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) should be everyone’s business. Its aim is to provide effective services which will enable children and young people to thrive. It also reflects our borough vision, for a borough that nurtures individual responsibility, assists those who are unable to be self-sufficient and promotes equality of opportunity.

Help to improve our services and save money

We spend around £18.5 million a year across various agencies and services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). We also know that we are overspending our budget by £2.5 million this year and this is set to rise if we do not do things differently. There is also a significant overspend in our home to school transport budget. Central government expect us to have a plan to remove that deficit and this strategy is part of our plan to achieve this balance of resources.

We already know that we can coordinate our services better and the draft strategy explains how we can achieve this. It sets out plans to organise services and budgets so that children and young people with SEND do even better in the future.

Priorities and principles

The draft strategy sets out our vision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and articulates the 4 strategic priorities which are supported by the principles by which we will make our decisions will ensure that the strategy is put into action.

The 4 strategic priorities are:

  1. To improve data gathering and analysis to support an evidence based approach to provision
  2. To improve engagement and communication
  3. To improve transition at all stages
  4. To improve provision and build local capacity

These are underpinned by our 6 principles which will guide the way we work with children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their parents and carers, as well as with all partners. They are:

  1. Encouraging independence
  2. Ensuring progress
  3. Communicating well
  4. Working in partnership
  5. Identifying need early
  6. Ensuring financial sustainability

More details

For further information, read the SEND draft strategy document (PDF document).

Once you have read the draft, give us your views by answering the following questions.

  1. Do you understand the reasons why we are making changes to the education of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?
  2. Does the vision in the draft strategy reflect what you would want for children and young people with SEND?
  3. Do you agree with the principles by which we will work?
  4. Do you agree that the strategic priorities are the right ones for the next 3 years?
  5. Are there other areas we should be focussing on?
  6. Would you like to make any other comments?

Respond to the consultation

Go the survey web page to submit your response.

Following some early comments and suggestions on the draft SEND strategy we have decided to extend the consultation period until 31 March 2019.

In addition we have now added 3 appendices to the strategy related to: 

The appendix referred to in the draft strategy as 'Action Plans for Each Priority' will be developed following the consultation process.

Timescales for the consultation

See the timescales below:

  • 10 January 2019 -  Final draft of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) strategy completed   
  • 10 January 2019 - Draft consultation document completed   
  • 21 January 2019 - All partners sign off final version to go for consultation   
  • 5 February 2019 - Consultation goes live
  • February 2019 - First meeting of the SEND Operational Scrutiny meeting to be arranged
  • 9 March 2019 - Consultation closes
  • 14 March 2019 - Consultation responses considered
  • 12 April 2019 - Final version produced, responding to consultation responses
  • 12 April 2019 - Officers to complete strategy action plans
  • To be confirmed - Strategy, supporting action plans and consultation responses to go to Education Overview and Scrutiny
  • 14 May 2019 - Final version of 0 to 25 SEND strategy published with supporting action plans 
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