Should we call our school sen report 'Local Offer'?

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SENCo Conference 2015
Should we call our school SEN Report 'Local Offer'?
No. The SEN report is different from the school’s local offer. The SEN Information Report should include a weblink to the school’s local offer.

The Lamb inquiry of 2009 into parental confidence in the SEN system found that families struggled to find their way through layers of bureaucracy and wanted clear, accessible information. The SEN Information Report is designed to help meet this need.

School governing bodies require information about their SEN provision under Section 69 of the 2014 Children and Families Act. This section lists schools’ reporting duties with regard to the admission, inclusion and access of disabled pupils, and this information can be published within the SEN Information Report.

The word ‘report’ implies information about something that happened in the past.

However, the SEN Information Report should contain current information about provision and can also form the substance of the SEN report to governors, i.e. information about what has been achieved. Section 6.79 of the new SEND Code of Practice lists what information is required.
Can we have a list of SEN Team with their contact details?

SENAT Managers (Job share)

Emily Heaton

Monday all day, Tuesday all day and Wednesday morning only

Ext 465779
Lynn Attwood

Wednesday all day, Thursday all day and Friday morning only

Ext 465779

Central Team

Jo Godwin – SEN Case Officer  463062

Andrew Orr – SEN Case Officer 463861

Karen MacDonald – SEN Business Support Administrative Officer  465747

North Team

Jill Hearn – SEN Case Officer  463086

Mel Sansome – SEN Case Officer 465749

Chris Kimber – SEN Business Support Administrative Officer 463085 (Mon, Tues & Wed am)

Kevin O’Grady – SEN Business Support Administrative Officer 463085 (Wed pm, Thur & Fri) KO'
South Team

Keri Niblett – SEN Case Officer 463089

Mel Sansome – SEN Case Officer 465749

Nicki Rawlings – SEN Business Support Administrative Officer 463084

Kevin O’Grady – SEN Business Support Administrative Officer 463085 (Wed pm, Thur, Fri)

SEN Team

Sabina Johal – BSU Officer – Assists the whole SEN Team, but majority of her work involves assisting the Admin support.

Why didn't we know about the research into high number of statements and Specialist Provision?/ Where is the research group collecting their findings from? Many schools don't seem to have been asked!
The research is largely focused on helping the LA plan its specialist SEN provision over the next few years. It was prompted by projections that suggest that the LA may need to invest further capital and revenue funding in adding to what is already, compared to many other LAs, a relatively large amount of specialist provision. Specifically the aim has been to strengthen understanding of the trends in demand for specialist provision for children with SEND, the potential future trajectory and associated cost implications for both children’s and adults services.

There are 3 main phases to the research:

  1. Data research.

A detailed analysis of key data to strengthen understanding of the trends, potential future trajectory and cost implications. Data reviewed to include:

  • 3-5 year trends, segmented as appropriate by principal learning difficulty, age, phase, school etc. in:

  • The issue of new statements,;

  • Placements in specialist provision;

  • Costs of provision

  • Models used to project future demand for specialist provision

  1. Stakeholder workshop

A workshop with a range of key stakeholders, based upon Outcomes Based Accountability, designed to:

  • Share the findings from the data research;

  • Develop a range of plausible hypotheses re the key drivers behind the data trends.

  1. Fieldwork

To test and strengthen the hypotheses generated at the stakeholder workshop:

  • In depth interviews with a small sample of families of children and young people to explore their aspirations and the support they rely upon to achieve them, including networks and community links;

  • Desk top and other research to collate learning and interesting practice from other local areas,

  • Feedback from service teams and specialist providers to understand the challenges and opportunities within existing systems, processes, professional practice and working culture(s).

The research has been undertaken in a relatively short time frame and the challenge has been to engage with as wide a range of stakeholders as possible within the time available. We have tried, therefore, to capitalise upon as many existing groups/consultative structures as possible, e.g.:

  • The SEND Strategic Board has received update reports as a standing item at each of its meetings. The membership of the Board includes representation from a wide range of stakeholders, including Heads of a special, primary and secondary school and also from Swindon College. The Board also held a dedicated meeting to consider its own response to the emerging findings on 6th March;

  • Findings from the initial analysis of key data were shared at a stakeholder workshop on 11th December. Delegates included: all members of the SEND Strategic Board, all members of the High Needs Task and Finish Group, and nominees from the chairs of the various Heads Associations

  • We reported to each meeting of the High Needs Task and Finish Group – which includes representation from all SRPs and special schools and is often attended by heads of a range of specialist services. A number of group members are also SENCOs. The most recent task group meeting on 6th February was used as an opportunity to canvass feedback on the emerging findings.

What are the changes to the funding?
A proposal is being developed for a banding system for allocating SENRAP funding to mainstream schools. The funding will be linked to the universal banding descriptors so each banding level equates to a fixed sum of money. This will replace the current ‘business case’ model. Further details and arrangement will be issued to all schools when the arrangements have been finalised. From April 1st arrangements for SENRAP will continue unchanged.
Can we apply to SENAT for funding and not need an EHC Plan?
As part of the development of the above banding system there will be the opportunity/mechanism for funding for children and young people with significant needs, without an EHC Plan/Statement.
Before the new funding system comes in to place, funding for children and young people without an EHC Plan can be considered in exceptional circumstances. You should speak to your SENAT Officer in the first instance.
Will the LA support/ help finance the training offered by NASEN?
Yes, SBC will help with reasonable costs for a suitable venue.

Can there be clarity of roles within the Borough that are pertinent to SENCos- who the personnel are and what their role is?
In this time of change we have experienced a number of changes in personnel at Swindon Borough Council. We will endeavour to produce a `Who’s Who’ document as soon as possible after Easter with a current list of staff that we feel might be helpful for SENCO’s and circulate this through the SENCO network.
Is there flexibility for SENCos regarding the previous requirement to get Annual Review paperwork to SENAT within 10 days?
The 10 day timescale has been set in order to enable the team to meet the new statutory timescales. If you are likely to have difficulty in meeting this please let your SEN casework officer know as soon as possible.

Who is responsible for letting parents of Y5/9 know that they are not converting to EHC Plans this year?
We will be sending out information to settings, professionals and parents by Easter to advise on the new conversion plan.

How are SENCos able to get up to date information from the LA?
A termly newsletter will be produced by the Head of SEND to include a frequently asked questions section. It would be helpful if SENCO’s could send questions directly to Lyn Frith or Roger Bushell or
Termly SEND forum network meetings are held by SBC, with a particular focus, as agreed by the SEND Board. The Spring Forum on 27th March will focus on post 16 with a particular emphasis on housing and employment options. The Summer Forum will take place on 2nd June with a focus on Health.

Can we have training on writing outcomes/EHC Plans ASAP ?
Yes. An in-house training programme is being developed and will be available after Easter. We will circulate information directly through the SENCO network. In addition, we will provide information on writing outcomes, person centred planning and writing advice for EHCP’s on the Local Offer.
The team are more than happy to receive emails or phone calls if you have any queries on a day-to-day basis. Please contact your SEN case officer.

Are the banding descriptors changing? If so when and will there be training?
The banding descriptors are not currently being changed, although this may be a piece for work for the future. If there is a need for further training on this now, please contact Emily Heaton or Lynn Attwood or

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