Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) - Strategies, plans, policies and inspections
Our strategies, plans and policies to support special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and details of our inspections.
Inspection: Re-visit of Durham local area from 22 to 24 January 2020
Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) re-visited us as part of the local area SEND inspection between 22-24 January 2020. This visit followed the previous inspection that took place in 2017 and evaluated how effectively leaders have addressed the areas of serious weaknesses detailed in the written statement of action (WSOA).
You can view the feedback from the inspection in our press release County Durham SEND services improving and the .
Watch the update about the inspection feedback from Martyn Stenton, Head of Early Help, Inclusion and Vulnerable Children:
This is our local strategy for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The strategy shows how services and the people in them are going to work together to make sure young people with SEND thrive in their communities including home, school and neighbourhood.
You can view the full strategy through the link to Cabinet agenda and minutes 6 April 2022, we are currently working on an accessible version that will be published on this page.
We also have a children and young people's version of the strategy and you can view this below:
The strategy has been developed with significant contributions from children and young people with SEND their families and key partners as part of an ongoing commitment to identify and meet the needs of this part of our Durham Community.
At the heart of this plan is the principle that all children and young people, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), be given every opportunity to take control of their lives, be as independent as possible and achieve as much as they are able.
This strategy has been produced in consideration of the significant government reforms to education, health and social care when working with and for children and young people with SEND (0-25) and their families and/or carers.
Locally, we carried out a review of the approach to communication and participation with parents and carers and to implement a Parents Charter. Through engagement, parents and carers gave their views on communication and involvement and those have been used to co-produce the Strategy and Charter.
This strategy will explain what participation is and how best to implement it in your setting/service, by giving useful tips and highlighting practical examples of good practice.
To ensure that the needs of children and young people with SEND are identified and met effectively, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspect - at least once every five years - the work of what is called a Local Area.
The Durham Local Area is a partnership of organisations including Durham County Council, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Public Health, NHS England, early years settings, schools, further education providers that support children and young people with SEND.
Ofsted and CQC inspectors consider how children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (or both) are identified, how their needs are assessed and met, and how they are supported and prepared to move on to their next stage of education, the world of work and adulthood. You can find out more by reading the Gov.uk: Local area SEND inspection: framework and Gov.uk: Local area SEND inspection: guidance for inspectors.
Local Area Inspection 2017
The Durham Local Area's most recent inspection took place in November 2017, with its findings published in January 2018. The inspection report can be viewed and downloaded from the Ofsted website: Ofsted inspection reports for Durham County Council.
In response to the report - speaking on behalf of Durham County Council; Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust; County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust; and local Clinical Commissioning Groups - Margaret Whellans, the council's Corporate Director for Children and Young People's Services, said:
"We welcome the fact that inspectors saw a lot of strengths in the work of the local area, particularly identifying children's needs, providing high-quality services for vulnerable young people, preparing care leavers for adulthood and making sure children feel safe and well cared for."
"We also acknowledge that, as a partnership of education, health and social care providers, we could improve the services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
"We recognise many of the areas for development which have been highlighted by the inspectors as in many instances these challenges have already been identified."
"Partners are working together to address these concerns and, with parents, carers and communities, we will ensure improvements are made."
SEND Written Statement of Action (WSoA)
The Local Area Inspection identified four key areas of development for County Durham and have asked that as a Local Area we work together to produce a.
The Local Area SEND Partnership have responded to the WSoA with an improvement plan which has been approved by the Ofsteds Regional HMI:.
The Local Area response to the WSoA has seen progress across a range of services. Details of progress can be found in the summary document. A copy of the full document is also available to view: .
This plan sets out County Durham's key joint strategic commissioning priorities for services for children and young people (0-25 years) with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
It details how each of these will be taken forward over the coming year.
We are currently working on a new joint commissioning plan and this is due to be published in March 2020.
This single, multi-agency strategic plan supports children, young people and their families to achieve their optimum mental health and wellbeing.
The Think Autism strategy is a local strategy for children, young people and adults on the autism spectrum.
It provides focus and clarity on the priorities for improving services and opportunities for these people and to improve support during the transition from childhood through to adulthood.
See our Think Autism in County Durham Strategy page.
- SEND and Inclusion Service
- 03000 267 800
Our address is:
- Broom Cottages Primary & Nursery School
- County Durham
- United Kingdom
- DL17 8AN
- 01740 657 792