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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities improvement journey

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities improvement journey

The City of York Council (CYC) and the Yorkshire and Humber Health and Care Partnership welcome the opportunity to continually and jointly improve services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in York.

Our ambition is for York to be a city that is inclusive for all; that services are delivered at the right time and from the right places and that all our children succeed and are happy, healthy, and safe.

Following the Local Area SEND Inspection that took place in December 2019, we’re making some changes to our services.

To get involved and work in partnership with us on the improvement journey, email: [email protected].

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Between 14 and 16 November 2022, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revisited the area of York to decide whether sufficient progress has been made in addressing each of the areas of significant weakness detailed in the inspection report letter published on 28 February 2020.

As a result of the findings of the initial inspection and in accordance with the Children Act 2004 (Joint Area Reviews) Regulations 2015, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) determined that a written statement of action was required because of significant areas of weakness in the area’s practice. HMCI determined that the local authority and the area’s clinical commissioning group (CCG) were jointly responsible for submitting the written statement to Ofsted. This was declared fit for purpose on 5 June 2020.

The area has made sufficient progress in addressing all the significant weaknesses identified at the initial inspection.

For further details about the findings of the revisit, read the re-visit report.

Re-visit of City of York Council from 14 November 2022 to 16 November 2022

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) jointly carried out a re-visit of your local area following the previous inspection that took place between 9 December 2019 and 13 December 2019.

The re-visit evaluated how effectively leaders addressed the areas of significant weaknesses detailed in the Written Statement of Action (WSOA).

You can read more about this re-visit by reading the official re-visit letter to parent carers.

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York’s new Learning Support Hub is now live and our specialist teachers can provide a wide range of support, advice and training to both parent carers and professionals in childcare settings and schools.

Details about the new Hub is available on the Local Offer Specialist Teaching Team and the Learning Support Hub.

Requests for targeted support from any of the Specialist teaching teams, Portage, Danesgate outreach or Haxby Road/St Oswalds/St Pauls ERP Outreach, can be made by schools and settings via the Learning Support Hub.

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We’ve been working with families and partners at the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership to develop an 'Autism Myth busting' webpage.

We hope the page will help provide answers to some of the most common questions and myths about Autism. Visit Autism Myth busting to see if we’ve covered your top 5!

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We’re launching our SEND Outcomes Framework!

In York, we want all children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to be happy and live the best lives they can. That’s why we and Yorkshire and Humber Health and Care Partnership (formerly Vale of York CCG) have worked with parent carers and young people with SEND to produce a set of outcomes that we all want to achieve for our children and young people.

These 7 SEND Outcomes are:

  1. I am healthy
  2. I have a choice and I am heard
  3. I am safe
  4. I achieve my goals
  5. I am included
  6. I can overcome challenges and difficulties on my own or with support
  7. I am becoming independent

The outcomes framework will change the way we work and the way we measure how effective we are in supporting children and young people with SEND. Our measure of success will whether children and young people can show or tell us that everything we do is supporting them to achieve these outcomes.

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York’s Health Services have published a SEND Mission statement that outlines their promise to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities:

We will work in partnership with stakeholders, support our Providers with appropriate training and regular meetings to review objectives and identify improvements, and continue to work together unifying York and North Yorkshire.

“Complying with the Children’s and Families Act and SEND Code of Practice, ensuring that children and young people have their voices heard and have access to the resources they need. We will continually seek to improve services for our SEND population.”

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We’re inviting young people and parent carers to take part in future interview panels to ensure we employ the best people to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in York.

To get involved in interview panels, please email: [email protected].

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We have been working with a range of families, young people, SENCOs, and other professionals to make changes to the Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), and the annual review documentation to ensure they are simpler, easy to read and more concise.

We have also been working together to develop a new Request for Assessment document, which will make the whole process of requesting assessment much easier and quicker.

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Each Clinical Commissioning Group should provide a Designated Medical Officer (DMO) or Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) for SEND. The DCO/DMO plays a key role in implementing and embedding the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) reforms and in supporting joined up working between health services, local authorities, and other SEND partners.

Yorkshire and Humber Health and Care Partnership (formerly Vale of York CCG) have opted for a hybrid model of Associate DCO (ADCO) and a DMO for special educational needs and disability (SEND). Louise Wootton is the ADCO and Dr Sally Smith, who is a consultant paediatrician at York Hospital, is the DMO.

The purpose of these roles is to support health colleagues across the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the local health providers to ensure children and young people 0 to 25 with SEND have the right health support to achieve the best outcomes they possibly can. The DCO role is a key element in supporting the Health Service in its implementation of the Children’s and Families Act 2014.

If you would like more information on the role, please email: [email protected].

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The local authority worked with Contact during 2020 and 2023, prioritising listening and working with early years families. We wanted to ensure that services who work with children and families in the early years are working in Joint Partnership.

Working in this way from the earliest possible opportunity will ensure that families know they have a right to be heard, are involved and feel like a partner in the work being done with and for their child. Numerous sessions were held by Contact to support our early years services in learning all about joint partnership (co-production) working.

Moving forward we will be providing training to our early years’ settings. This training will include how and why to work in joint partnership with the families of York

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In the summer of 2020, some families told us that they wanted to be listened to, specifically regarding their child's Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). To allow families to share their views with us specifically on how they found their experience with the Special Educational Needs Team (SEN Team), a 'How Well Did We Do' survey was developed.

This survey was developed with the support of families who have been through the request for assessment process. We wrote some questions outlining what we needed to include. These questions were sent to families, and we asked for their honest opinion on the wording, content and accessibility. The families gave their feedback and made changes to the questions, changes which had not been thought of. This is just one of the benefits to working in Joint Partnership with families. The final questions included areas such as feeling involved and like a partner in the process, confidence in the service, quality of contributions to the plans and how well families understood the language and processes being used.

These questions are now being used at various stages during a family’s journey with the SEN Team. Please look out for the survey being sent in emails from the team and share your feedback with us. Your feedback is so valuable and helps us to shape our services and improve outcomes for children and young people in York.

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The Model of Joint Partnership has been jointly produced with families and colleagues. The aim of the model is to outline how we at the City of York Council and Yorkshire and Humber Health and Care Partnership (formerly Vale of York CCG) will work together with families in York. We aim to improve our individual joint partnership when developing plans for children, and involve families and partners when developing strategic documents, improving services, or developing a new service.

The audit framework will help us measure how well we are working with families. This will support us on our Special Educational Needs and Disability improvement journey.

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We know that we need to communicate better with the families, children, and young people we’re working with. In August, Yorkshire and Humber Health and Care Partnership (formerly Vale of York CCG) and City of York Council have created a joint communications strategy which sets out how we want to communicate with, who with and when.

Our communications in the future will include information about:

  • updates and changes to Special Educational Needs Services in York
  • updates regarding the Ofsted visit and the Written Statement of Action we have in place
  • what we are doing to improve the outcomes for children and young people
  • information about how parent carers and young people can be involved in our work

We’ve also looked at how we can work better with families and young people to shape and improve our services.

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During the Council for Disabled Children's deep dive sessions, it was clear that colleagues at City of York Council and Yorkshire and Humber Health and Care Partnership (formerly Vale of York CCG) needed to gain a better understanding around what co-production is, and how it can be used to benefit the work we do with children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in York.

4 training sessions were run throughout July and members of teams across the local authority attended.

In practice, co-production involves people who use services being consulted, included and working together from the start to the end of any project that affects them. When co-production works best, people who use services and carers are valued by organisations as equal partners, can share power and have influence over decisions made.

During the sessions it was clear that the term co-production was not recognised by staff or parent carers. Therefore, a survey went out and was completed by 34 parent carers to choose the new name based on ideas collected from the sessions.

The new name for co-production in York is Joint Partnership.

These sessions supported the development of the Model of Joint Partnership.

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As a result of the SEND inspection, a Written Statement of Action has been developed. This document outlines the changes that will be made, the outcomes we aim to see and the time frames in which these should be achieved. This document will be updated regularly.

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