Agenda item

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) 0-25 Reforms Update Report - SEN Performance and Joint Working

To consider a report of the Director of Children’s Services giving an update on the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) 0-25 Reforms – SEN Performance and Joint Working.


Members received an update from representatives of the Director of Children’s Services and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups (Item 8 in the Minute Book). 


Members were taken through the presentation slides and Officers first set out the context of the SEND reforms which came into effect following the Children and Families Act in September 2014.  The strong focus on year 9 preparation for adulthood was highlighted as well as other issues such as the statutory local offer and the strengthened focus on SEN support.  Members also noted the need for joint planning and commissioning of services.  Officers detailed the impact of the reforms and it was heard that these had been welcomed and that parents and young people had been involved in the planning of these.  One of the impacts had been a 66% increase in the number of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) since 2015 with these now totalling 8,300.  It was heard that this could be explained by the increase in the age range from 19 years to 25 years. 


The breakdown of the number of SEN statements and EHCP’s by age group was noted and it was stated that the number of young people with EHCP’s was continuing to grow but there was not such a significant growth shown at secondary age.


It was heard that in terms of SEN service performance, Hampshire had seen a 100% completion of statutory transfers of 5,277 SEN’s to EHCP’s by 31 August 2018.  Officers explained that the volume of work for the service was huge, but a high number of children who needed SEN places had had these secured. 


Members were informed about the launch of the digital EHC hub which provided a digital way of working and parents would be able to track SEN progress online.  It was heard that this had been launched with a phased rollout since September 2018 to ensure a smoother process, and that all new SEN requests had been inputted on the hub since September.  The performance of children and young people with SEN was detailed and Members also heard about the methods to manage demand with increased capacity within HIAS and examining what could be done in terms of training.


The presentation also highlighted the proportion of children and young people for whom needs were met by way of specialist provision out of county.  In most case this was because specialist provision wasn’t available at that point in time or the need was for a specific specialist support which was not available in county.  Members noted that 118 annual reviews were attended in the academic year 2017/18 with 46 cases identified as ready to move on and have their needs met in county.


It was heard that the Department for Education had earmarked £6.4m of capital funding for SEND provision between 2017-2020 to support new school places and suitability.   Autism Spectrum Disorder


In response to questions, Members heard:


  • That the hub would provide a more disciplined way of presenting information, and this proved to be a positive move, and would provide more quality assurance around the EHCP’s.
  • That a formula within the schools block of funding calculates the budget for high needs for individual schools, but Officers have highlighted to the Secretary of State for Education that this formula needs revision as the calculations were determined largely by historical factors.
  • That there has been increasing financial pressures such as post 19 years need, growth in numbers requiring specialist support and the growth in costs of non-maintained schools.
  • That there has been an increase of 66% in the numbers of children and young people with EHCPs.  The SEN grant received to ease the transition from the old system to the new reforms runs out this year.
  • That going forward, extra funding would be needed to needed to maintain support in light of the increasing demand.
  • That there was a need to prepare young people for when their EHCP finishes and provide ongoing guidance and support.  There was also an emphasis on properly planned transitions.
  • That the NHS recognise that there is an increasing demand on CAMHS and Autism services.
  • That Tribunal cases are often brought when parents have conflicting views with the school as to where their children’s needs should be met.
  • That the SEN services processing of annual reviews has an administrative backlog. These reviews have taken place but almost 50% have not yet had the administrative tasks completed.  The percentage for children who are educated other than at school is far higher with almost 80% having the reviews and administrative processes completed. Evaluation of this and the inputting of a significant amount of non-recurring money will ensure resources will be put in place to clear the backlog and enable assessments to be completed.


It was proposed that a further update be presented to the Committee in 12 months’ time and this was agreed by Members.




That the Children and Young People Select Committee noted the update and

requested a further update in 12 months’ time.


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