Agenda item

Special Educational Needs

To receive an update on progress delivering the Local SEND Offer in North Tyneside.



The Sub-Committee received a Report on Special Educational Needs and Disability.


The Children and Families Act 2014 had reformed legislation relating to children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND).   The Act outlined a new SEND Code of Practice (2015) and statutory guidance for organisations that worked with and supported children and young people with SEND.


The Children and Families Act described that a child or young person had a special educational need if they had a learning difficulty or disability which called for special educational provision to be made for them.  Special educational provision was provision that was additional to or different from that which would normally be provided for children and young people of the same age in a mainstream education setting.


Prior to the Children and Families Act, children and young people with SEND were supported in schools with a Statement of Special Educational Need.  These were particularly focussed on meeting the educational needs of children without sufficient rigour and focus upon the health and social care needs of children.  The Children and Families Act required of Authorities, by April 2018, to transfer all eligible children and young people 0 - 25 years with a Statement of Special Educational Need, to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  North Tyneside had met this requirement within timescale


The SEND Code of Practice (2015) required Authorities to complete a statutory assessment to determine whether an EHCP should be issued, within 20 weeks of request.  Working with health, education and social care partners, the Authority’s SEND Support Service lead and coordinated the support of all children with an EHCP and was required to ensure that annual reviews and appropriate monitoring of their support took place.  The SEND Support Service was one component of North Tyneside’s multi-agency SEND network; schools, colleagues, NHS commissioners and providers, all had statutory duties within the code.


In addition to children and young people with an EHCP, there were children with special educational needs who received SEN support.  This SEN support met the needs of children and young people’s education needs only.  


North Tyneside had a current 0-25 population of just over 57,000, of them 5200 had a special educational need and disability, 1500 had an EHCP, an increase of 13% since May 2018 and 3700 received SEN support, an increase of 10% since May 2018.


To meet the rising demand of children and young people with SEND the Authority had recruited to the position of Assistant Director for Whole Life Disability and SEND, strengthening the leadership of the SEND agenda, integrating education and social care services through the life course; and strengthened capacity in operational staff within the SEND Support Service; an additional £350k of permanent funding had been allocated, enabling recruitment of an additional seven SEND Officers, responsible for the statutory assessment and review of EHCPs with the Authority now employing 10 SEND officers. 


To strengthen services to children and young people throughout the statutory assessment and review process, the Authority had co-produced, with parents, carers and partners, a new SEND Support Service operating model, established in September 2019.  This model strengthened the focus on listening to and identifying every opportunity for children with SEND to share their voices and experiences; the benefits to children and young people of effective relationship-based practice and recognised the impact of service provision for children and young people.


Throughout a young person’s educational journey, there was an aspirational team around the individual, supporting them to achieve the best possible educational and other related outcomes and Members welcomed the changes made to the process for referral.


The local authority, Care Commissioning Group (CCG) and North Tyneside Parent Carer Forum had completed a Partnership Self-Assessment, supporting the collective assessment of the impact of the partnership’s delivery of services.


The North Tyneside SEND partnership had commissioned an independent peer review of its SEND system and services, in order to review and analyse the strengths and areas for development of services in North Tyneside to identify, assess and meet needs of children and young people with SEND and to improve their outcomes.


The Peer Review identified that strategic planning and leadership was strong, which had a positive impact on the planning for predicted need and delivery of services and there was strong evidence of effective joint working between the local authority, CCG and other partners.


In October 2018, approximately 55% of children had plans completed within the 20 week assessment process timescale and timeliness was improving due to the Support Service Operating Model, however the Care Plans relied on collaboration with the Council’s Social Care Team and Partner Agencies including the Trust and CCG.


Members sought clarification on how many children had plans completed within the 20 week assessment process timescale over a twelve month period and in response the Sub-Committee was advised that figures would be circulated. 


Members were advised that all Authorities, education providers, NHS and other related services, would take part in at least one Ofsted and CQC Local Area SEND Inspection between 2015 and 2020.  North Tyneside had yet to receive this inspection but once the Inspection had taken place, the Report would be circulated to the Committee.


One of the priorities would be to evidence the impact of the SEND Support Service, further build on joint commissioning and increase partnership work.



It was agreed to note the contents of the report and additional information on the number of Plans completed over a twelve month period be circulated to the Committee.



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