Strategy, policy and guidance
The information provided here covers policies and strategies in place locally that affects SEN and disability services and processes. This includes local policies and strategies as laid out by Shropshire Local Authority and Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Our vision sees Shropshire children and young people with SEND that are healthy, happy and safe and able to achieve their full potential, with support from a strong partnership between families, the voluntary sector, and service commissioners.
The SEND Strategy has been agreed and adopted by all stakeholders identified within it. It sets out Shropshire’s key priorities for all SEND services to aspire to achieve.
These boards, trusts, and groups have varying levels of responsibility and oversight of SEND services and strategic decision making in Shropshire.
Shropshire's SEND High Needs Review and Special Provision Capital Fund
In March 2017, the government wrote to all directors of children’s services to ask them to complete a review of high needs provision in their area.
We commissioned an external consultancy to carry out this work, which took place between October 2017 and March 2018, and included consultation and engagement with a wide range of different partners. The review process has also shaped recommendations as to how we should use the ‘Special Provision Fund’, which is £500k of additional capital funding allocated to Shropshire by the Department for Education over the next three years, for investment in provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
In summary, having consulted with a range of stakeholders, the review has recommended that we should invest in the following:
- The development of specialist provision attached to mainstream schools in order to meet the needs of complex learners – particularly those with communication and interaction difficulties - enabling them to be educated closer to home
- These provisions could be either mainstream school-led (known as resourced provision) or special school-led but based on mainstream school sites – known as satellite provision
- The review has identified four potential locations for development in the first year as follows:
- Whittington CofE (Aided) Primary School, Oswestry – ten-place provision for primary-aged learners with communication and interaction difficulties
- St Andrew’s CofE Primary School, Nesscliffe – ten-place provision for primary-aged learners with communication and interaction difficulties
- Community College, Bishops Castle – 20-place provision for secondary-aged learners with communication and interaction difficulties
- Oldbury Wells School, Bridgenorth – 20-place provision for secondary-aged learners with communication and interaction difficulties
- Final decisions about location will be made taking into account the outcome of statutory consultation and feasibility studies
- Further proposals will follow to cover other areas of Shropshire in years 2 and 3 (sooner if possible)
- A range of other recommendations are also made, including developing SEN support to provide early intervention for pupils with mental health needs, and stimulating the development of high quality independent provision through the development of a market position statement
- The review also recommends that preparatory work is carried out to develop a bid for a new special school for learners with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs with associated social communication difficulties, in readiness for the Department for Education’s expected announcement of a new round of free school funding
The full plan and its appendices are presented here:
Shropshire's boards and strategy groups
Shropshire’s Children's Trust
This is a partnership group made up of representatives from:
- Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group
- Director of children’s services
- Voluntary and community sector services
- Youth offending services
- Fire service
- Head of safeguarding
- Director of public health
- Strengthening Families
Its role is to ensure the implementation and provision of improved and better joined up services and support for children and families. For SEN and disability, this means that they oversee the SEND strategic board through Shropshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board. They're responsible for ensuring that commissioning, performance management and communication of key service provisions and processes are carried out in a way that's appropriate for our SEND community in Shropshire, and consistent with agreed policies and strategies in place.
Shropshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board
This board is in place to bring together key leaders from local health and care organisations to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of Shropshire people, and to reduce inequalities that are the cause of ill health. HWBB members work together to understand their local community's needs, agree priorities, and make decisions to improve the health and wellbeing of local people in Shropshire.
In relation to SEND the HWBB is responsible for the initial oversight of the SEND 0-25 strategic board and report to the Children’s Trust. It looks at the effective implementation of joint working practices and joint commissioning, through the JSNA (see below policies, plans, and strategies).
Disabled Children and Young People 0-25 Strategic Board
The SEND 0-25 Strategic Board is a partnership group that works across organisations to understand, develop, and coordinate services to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families, with a focus on the continuous improvement of outcomes.
Making it Real Board
Making it Real is a framework developed by the Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) National Coproduction Advisory Group to help improve adult social care services and encourage better person centred practices. Making it Real is a voluntary board made up of services' user group representatives (referred to as 'Experts by Experience'), service provider representatives, commissioners, and operational leads from within Shropshire’s adult social care services. This board meets to discuss a range of issues and concerns that impact on the delivery of adult social care in relation to meeting the 26 identified ‘I’ statements (as outlined on their webpages) which are grouped into three key themes.
Shropshire’s ‘Making it Real’ priorities are:
- Information and advice – having access to accurate, up to date information that enables you to make informed choices about your care and support as well as informing you of what's available to you in your area
- Active and supportive communities – having access to a range of support to enable access to the community, independent living, training and learning, as well as access to a network of people to support you
- Flexible integrated care and support – empowering you to have more influence and control over your care and support, access to services that are responsive to your needs, and coordinated services with clear communication pathways
In relation to SEN and disability this all ties into the legal duties are found within the Children and Families Act 2014 (referring to the transition between children’s and adults services) and the Care Act 2015.
Shropshire's policies, plans and strategies
The policies, plans, and strategies as outlined below have been coordinated to ensure the ongoing improvement of SEND services across Shropshire. Whilst not all elements of these are wholly reflective of SEND, they do often have an impact through a variety of ways. Where possible, we've tried to outline this so that our SEND community can understand the relevance of these on their lives.
Joint Strategic Needs Analysis
The Joint Strategic Needs Analysis (JSNA) is a process by which Shropshire Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group, with other partners, describe the future health, care, and wellbeing needs of Shropshire people. The JSNA uses evidence presented to them to inform and influence strategic service development and service commissioning. The JSNA is accountable to the Shropshire Health and Wellbeing Board.
The Disabled Children and Young People 0-25 Strategic Board (see below) has an overview of the SEND strategy, and provides direction to the SEND work streams and reports to the Shropshire’s Childrens Trust, which in turn reports to the Health and Wellbeing Board. This is how information about SEN and disability services informs the JSNA.
Sustainability Transformation Plan
The Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin sets out how the health and care system can remain fit for the future, help patients to become healthier and respond effectively to the growing demands being placed upon it.
Shropshire Transforming Care Partnership Footprint
Transforming care is all about making things better for people who have a learning disability and/or autism that sometimes results in behaviour that can challenge. It's about children, young people and adults. Listening to what people and family carers think is really important.
Locally, Shropshire Council, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Telford and Wrekin Council and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group are working together to develop a plan to help get Shropshire people back living in Shropshire.
The local Transforming Care Plan (TCP) has three key aims:
- Have good services in the local community so people don’t need to go into hospital in the first place
- Bring back people who currently are in hospital to live at home
- Make sure people feel safe and secure in their local community
Shropshire Council accessibility strategy for schools
Local authorities are required by law to plan to improve access to every aspect of education for pupils with disabilities, and to monitor and review the effectiveness of their plans at regular intervals. The detail of these plans form the basis of our accessibility strategy. This responsibility sits alongside the many other duties we have towards the children and young people who attend schools in our area.