Shropshire Council

Headlines from the Autumn 2016 implementation survey

06 March 2017 Last updated at 01:59

In November 2016, local authorities and parent carer forums were invited to complete their respective autumn 2016 SEND implementation surveys. We would like to thank all parent carer forums and local authorities for taking the time to complete these surveys.

We are today, through this newsletter, publishing a summary of the key findings from both surveys at a national level in Annex A. Contact a Family has produced a full report on the parent carer forum survey, which is available online

The purpose of conducting these surveys is to help assess progress with implementing the SEND reforms. The autumn 2016 surveys were co-produced by Contact a Family, the National Network of Parent Carer Forums, and the DfE (taking account of feedback received by local authorities and parent carer forums). They were launched from a single source, the DfE, at the same time. The aim was to align the surveys as closely as possible, including question content and numbering, to make for easier comparisons and better read-across on all issues. The views of both local authorities and parent carer forums are highly valued, and gathering feedback from both at the same time helps to provide a richer picture of local Implementation. Feedback suggests that this has been helpful and we therefore intend to continue this approach for future surveys.

Local authorities and parent carer forums were encouraged to work together on their survey responses, and around 70% of areas did so. The feedback we have received indicates that doing so helps to promote effective co-production and provides a helpful platform for discussion between local authorities and parent carer forums.

The surveys provide a regular, transparent, snapshot of progress, which we know parent carer forums and local authorities (and others) find helpful. The findings also help Government and other organisations (including Contact a Family and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums) to identify good practice and/or areas of challenge in order to prioritise available resources and areas for policy development.

Contact a Family, the National Network of Parent Carer Forums and the DfE will be working together to produce three more surveys over the next 18 months, and these will follow a similar format to the autumn 2016 survey. The next surveys will be launched at the beginning of May 2017, and close at the end of that month.

Outcomes are outlined below:

Local authority key high level findings

Parent carer forum key high level findings

Headline summary

The response rate for LAs completing the survey is 91%. This is the same as for the summer survey.

70% of respondents had discussed their responses to the survey with their Parent Carer Forum.

A total of 123 parent carer forums responded to the survey (81%), an 11% increase on the last survey (70%). This is the highest forum response rate to date.

70% of parent carer forums discussed their responses to the survey with their local authority; a large increase from the last survey (45%).

EHC plans issued

36% of local authorities stated that they were issuing at least 90% of EHC plans within 20 weeks. Although this is a relatively low proportion, it is an increase of 17 percentage points since the summer survey.

Local authorities were asked what were the main barriers to completing EHC Plans within the timeframe. 53% of LAs stated that capacity of the LA SEND team was a barrier, with 50% of LAs stating that timeliness of health care professionals was another barrier.


38% of forums believe that their local authority is meeting the 20-week deadline to produce EHC Plans in 90% of cases.

The five main barriers to completion of EHC Plans within the 20-week timeframe were:

  1. Local authority capacity (45 forums)
  2. The timeliness of advice from health professionals (39 forums)
  3. The capacity of Educational Psychologist’s to provide advice (37 forums)
  4. The capacity of health professionals to provide advice (30 forums)
  5. The capacity of social care professionals to provide advice (27 forums)

Transition to EHC plans

32% of local authorities stated that they were very confident they would have completed all their statements transfers and issued final EHC plans by April 2018. 54% of respondents stated that they were moderately confident with 14% stating that they were not at all confident.

 When asked about how confident they are that their local authority will have completed the transfer of statements and issued final EHC Plans by April 2018, 18% are very confident that this will occur; 32% are moderately confident rising from 25% confidence in the last survey; and 35% are not at all confident. The remainder of forums (15%) are unsure.

Strategic Planning, Engagement and Development

Methods of engaging children, young people and parents in strategic planning and co-production of SEND services.

The number of children that are largely or fully engaged in strategic planning and co-production of SEND services has risen since the autumn survey from 10% to 13%

60% of forums feel that parents are largely or fully engaged in strategic planning with their local authority. This is a slight drop from 62% in the spring 2016 survey, which saw a similar drop


DFE newsletter

The DfE Newsletter Jan 2017 has been released and can be found This term it reflects upon SEND Implementation Survey results, Young Peoples Advisory Group - FLARE, SEND funding streams for 17/18, naming of placements within EHCPs, the Lenehan review and more.

Feedback for Contact a Family

Contact a Family are seeking views and experiences regarding SEND Transport to inform their evidence base and research into the impact and effectiveness of SEND Transport services. Please take time to share your experience at They are keen to here from families where there have been exceptional services offered to help demonstrate examples of best practice.

DfE announcement

Capital allocations and planning for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities

Supporting local authorities to create sufficient good school places for all pupils, including those with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities, is a high priority for the Government. Local authorities have important specific responsibilities for children and young people with SEN and disabilities. This a vital role that local authorities retain in our increasingly school-led education system and one that requires long-term strategic planning, informed by detailed local knowledge enhanced through consultation with parents and carers, and good relationships with local schools.

View the letter from Edward Timspon MP, Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families.