As a result of Stockport’s disappointing SEND review there is a lot of activity to improve things for the future.
We are on the mailing list which keeps us up to date on the various activities and we’re doing our best to share this information with the families we know. As we only send emails that we write ourselves we decided to share the newsletter here on our website. Feel free to share the details with anybody you think may find the information useful.
Further details and ways to respond to the Board managing the SEND Review Programme is available on the Local Offer Website.
Headlines from the SEND Improvement Board January 2019Paul Harper Co-Chair PIPS
Why a Virtual Network bulletin?
Since SAVY closed down, there’s been no forum to share information across young people’s voluntary groups in Stockport, including those with an interest in special educational needs and disability (SEND). Last September Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected services and support for children and young people with SEND in Stockport and found some significant weaknesses. As a result, Stockport Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have set up an Improvement Board and programme to deal with the weaknesses and improve services and support for children and young people with SEND and their families. You can read the report here.
Stockport has held a number of meetings for parents and carers to hear their experiences and to find out how families want things to get better. It’s committed to publish summaries of these meetings and we hope this will happen soon. You can already find other information about the inspection follow-up here, and we expect that’s where the summaries will be published. In the meantime this bulletin will be circulated from time to time to bring Stockport voluntary groups up to speed with what’s happening. It is not an official publication as it’s written by the board parent/carer representative, not the council or the CCG.
What’s happened so far at the board?
The board consists of senior leaders across the council and CCG with responsibility for services that affect children and young people with SEND and their families:
Noreen Dowd, Accountable Officer, NHS Stockport CCG (co-chair)
Chris McLoughlin, Director of Children’s Services, SMBC (co-chair)
Alan Beswick, Interim Director of Education Services, SMBC
Cathy Lyall, Strategic Lead for S.E.N. and Inclusion, SMBC
Claire Woodford, Director of Women, Children and Diagnostics Business Group, NHS SFT
Deborah Woodcock, Director of Operations, Stockport Family and Principal Social Worker, SMBC
Donna Sager, Director of Public Health, SMBC
Josie Kershaw, Associate Director for Mental Health and Specialist Services, Pennine Care
Mark Fitton, Director of Adult Social Care, SMBC
Maria McCaffery, interim SEND support, NHS Stockport CCG
Paul Harper, Co-Chair, Parents in Partnership Stockport (PIPS)
In brief, so far the board:
Has set up four workstreams to work on improvements. These are (in no particular order):
Monitoring and Evaluation
SEN Support and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)
Has decided to split the responsibilities of the last workstream into four sub-groups: Tell it once culture; Social Care input into EHC plans; SEN support; and The Wider EHC process;
Is ensuring parent/carer representation on all groups;
Has held five public meetings with parent/carers to find out about their experiences of services and support and how they’d like things to get better;
Is using some expert consultancy support to help with the work;
Has brought together detailed borough-wide data on the needs of those with SEND 0-25, called a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). It will use this to help target improvements and to chart progress over the next few years;
Has produced a draft plan showing the Department for Education (DfE) how it will address the identified weaknesses. This is called a Written Statement of Action (WSoA) and should be finalised in February. Stockport will publish this plan.
Can I read about the board’s work in more detail?
The board will be publishing official minutes on the Local Offer website. It has now agreed to make these parent-friendly. So all the minutes from January 2019 onwards will be easier to follow than the first few, which had a lot of abbreviations and some business-speak.
What will happen in the next few weeks?
The WSoA will be the overall plan of action. It will show how the local area will tackle the key weaknesses which the inspection identified. The board and its workstreams will carry out this work. Some of it will be short-term and done quickly and other parts are expected to take at least a year. Stockport has promised a wider SEND strategy, which we expect it will begin producing once the DfE has approved the WSoA.
I want to get more involved – how can I do this?
If you’re a parent/carer of someone 25 or under with SEND, you can offer to be a representative on a workstream. These meet during the day, roughly every two weeks or monthly. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to say you’re interested.
We’re collecting case studies of families with experience of SEND services and support in Stockport, which will be made anonymous, analysed and shown to officials and families to help show the lived experience of families. If you’d like to share your story, please email email@example.com as soon as possible and head your message SEND case study.