Strategic and action planning for SEND Services in Shropshire

This group will consider the planning of SEND services across education, health and social care. It will think about how we can ensure that these services are co-produced with the SEND Community and how joint working between education, health and social care can be promoted.It will particularly look at how co-production will happen in the health sector and how health services will support the Shropshire SEND community.

What did the SEND Inspection Report say about the strategic planning of SEND services in Shropshire?

  • "Strategic leadership across the area is weak. This is most notable in the leadership of the CCG. The implementation of the SEND reforms by the CCG has been too slow. There has been inconsistent leadership for SEND within the CCG and a lack of cohesive partnership working. Consequently, the focus on SEND has not been sharp enough due to competing health priorities across Shropshire. It is not clear how SEND services will be given greater priority in the area."

  • "Area leaders’ self-evaluation identifies some of the key issues in education, health and care provision for children and young people with SEND. Some of the area leaders’ action plans and actions are informed by this self-evaluation. However, it is not clear what area leaders hope to achieve as a result of their activities because their plans have no measurable success criteria."

  • "Area commissioners do not make effective use of the data available to them. Consequently, they do not accurately commission and plan services that meet the full range of children and young people’s needs. Area leaders have been able to demonstrate that they are making some improvements. However, the absence of a SEND-specific joint strategic needs assessment to steer the direction of this work, combined with the lack of a robust action plan with measurable success criteria, means that area leaders are unable to evaluate the success of their actions."

  • "Many strategic leaders value and act upon the views of parents and carers. Most parents are satisfied with the way their child’s school or college meets their needs. As a result, the number of tribunal cases is low, as is the number of complaints. The majority of these complaints are not upheld. However, a significant minority of parents are dissatisfied with the services the area provides for their children. Of particular concern for them is the lack of an effective service to support their children’s emotional and mental well-being."

  • "The CCGs have engaged with groups of children, young people and adults with SEND to gain feedback on the effectiveness of services. Shropshire Young Health Champions have been trained to increase consultation, participation and engagement with young people with SEND. Leaflets have been produced in easy read formats to ensure information is accessible. Feedback from people who access services, including adults with learning disabilities and ASD, has been used in their design. This positive work has not extended to include the parent and carer council (PACC), which reports that the CCGs have not fully embraced the benefits of co-production (a way of working where children and young people, families and those that provide the services work together to make a decision or create a service that works for them all)."

  • "Several health services do not seek feedback from parents, carers and young people about the service being delivered. This limits each team’s ability to respond to need and to develop its service in a more person-centred way."

  • "Knowledge of the SEND reforms and EHC assessment and planning processes across health services is inconsistent. A strategic approach to training and development that secures a good level of understanding from all professionals is absent."

  • "More recently, there has been designated clinical officer (DCO) representation at appropriate strategic and operational SEND panels and boards. This helps to assist in planning and to develop a thorough understanding of local health services. The current DCO has started work to improve SEND training and to develop a better knowledge of SEND across the health workforce."

Some concerns were also raised about the SEND Action Plan

  • "Moreover, the area’s SEND action plan does not include crucial health elements, such as community health services. Therefore, area leaders’ ability to improve the range and quality of services for children and young people with SEND and their families is limited. This is a significant gap and means that children and young people do not get the help and support that they need."


What is Being Done?

10th July 2020

One of the first pieces of work resulting from the Shropshire Written Statement of Action is that all key partners have made a committment to co-production and joint working.  This is captured in a Statement of Intent, signed by Shropshire Council, Shropshire CCG and PACC and published during Co-production Week 2020.  You can read the Statement of Intent here