SEND Workstream Update
To note the above update.
Alison Crossick, Service Leader - Psychology, Wellbeing ? School Support, stated she had taken the lead on the SEND Workstream at the end of July 2018. There were four areas of workstreams:
1. Inclusion Charter – hoping every schools would be given the Charter and ever SENCO had been sent it via email. It sat with the Council, Parent Partnerships and the NHS. It was a very basic thing that parents could point to and ask if their child was being included
2. SEND Strategy and data – being published in the Local Offer. It had been updated and made interactive.
3. Moving towards implementation of the Plan – where the Borough would continue with partnerships to continue to improve services for learning difficulties and disabilities. There was still a lot of work to be done. An Early Years Virtual Team was well established and well used by volunteers and independent organisations and nurses attached to schools. There was now an Early Years SENCO. The Psychology, Wellbeing ? School Support said there was a joint agreed data set that had been agreed with health colleagues. The data for health still sat across Berkshire so she had to ask for data locally. An Accessibility of Information Content Officer was now in place and working with parents in partnership. Joolz Scarlett had been the lead in that group and an area they were looking at was an invest to save programme. A £416k one-off payment had been made to implement the programme and different proposals would be produced regarding sustainability.
4. BCF - £150k per annum for three years could cover three staff members. A SEND consultant had been in place since the end of the current term and was working on SENCO partnerships and training programmes on SEN. There was an area SENCO post currently vacant but, the Service Leader - Psychology, Wellbeing ? School Support, was holding interviews for the post shortly for the successful candidate to start in January 2019.
The Service Leader - Psychology, Wellbeing ? School Support explained that one area being looked at was the matrix and it would be the local authorities job to pull all the data together to produce a new matrix which would go out to consultation. It would become one document so that if a child stayed in mainstream education, the school would still get the funding as if the child had attended a special school.
There was an upward trend in tribunal hearings as there were companies working with parents to help them go through the tribunal process and a significant number of tribunals were relating to SEND. The Director of Children’s Services said he had been receiving letters that looked like legal letters from parents saying if the Council did not deliver everything they wanted, they would take the Borough to tribunal.
The Director of Children’s Services stated the Borough had identified a site for a special school to be built so it was a political opportunity to make a bid for funding. A local authority was able to put in bids for frees schools if it covered local need. He added a bid would be submitted but, it would not be before 2023 before the Borough could act on it. The site had been identified in the Borough Local Plan in Windsor but, the school would not be just for children living in Windsor, but for children living across the Borough. Oxfordshire was doing the same and West Berks was submitting a bid for alternative provision so there was a change the Borough would not be successful.
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