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Local Area Networking for SEN. Review of Access and Inclusion Services March 2006. Over 300 staff are employed in these services: Student Support Service Educational Psychology Service Special Educational Needs Assessment Specialist Teaching Service Access and Welfare

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Local area networking for sen l.jpg

Local Area Networking for SEN

Review of Access and Inclusion Services

March 2006

Review of access and inclusion services summary l.jpg

Over 300 staff are employed in these services:

Student Support Service

Educational Psychology Service

Special Educational Needs Assessment

Specialist Teaching Service

Access and Welfare

Parent Partnership Service

The review will consider:

what services need to provided centrally in line with the LAs role

how other services can be delivered on a local area basis, aligned with our five SEN areas

whether some services would be better located in other parts of the new departmental structure

The review will take part in three stages:

Stage 1: Consultation on models of future service delivery, staffing structures and action plans (completed by July 2006)

Stage 2: Appointments to new structure (completed in the Autumn, 2006)

Stage 3: Phased implementation of new structure (Completed by March 2007)

A meeting of managers in the group was held on 16th March, to prepare a cabinet paper for 4th April which will begin the process.

The cabinet paper will be made available to staff and professional associations on 28th March.

Shortly after 4th April, detailed plans will be published for consultation, if cabinet support is gained.

Cabinet approval will be sought for the plans in July/August, 2006.

The review will impact on individual services in different ways. The first stage of the review will clarify how different services will be affected.

Review of Access and Inclusion Services: Summary

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Themes: Leicestershire SEN Strategy: 2004

  • Capacity

    • BESD and ASD provision: Enhanced Provision in mainstream schools

    • SEN Delegation

  • Coherence

    • Area special schools: redevelop on mainstream sites where possible

    • Area links between schools to share good practice

    • Single Point of Access to support services

  • Confidence

    • Unified Inset programme

    • SEN Notional budgets and monitoring arrangements

    • Headteachers Reps on statement panel

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Principles to inform review of Pupil Support Services

· Pupils, not services, come first (Every Child Matters agenda).

· There should be a balance of condition-focussed expertise and practical support for pupils in the context of whole school Leadership and Management and Learning and Teaching.

· Updates on specialist information/research need to be ensured.

· Practical advice should be grounded in deliverers’ ongoing teaching experience.

· There should be provision of high quality training which combines specialist knowledge and on the ground advice, which complement each other.

· Up-to-date resource reference facilities need to be maintained.

· Links with parent/carer, council and voluntary agencies need to be further developed in order to reduce friction, communication difficulties and wastage of energy in ultimately unproductive conflict.

· The enormous amount of money we have invested in training, e.g. SPLD, needs to be capitalised so that it impacts on pupil progress and demonstrates value for money.

· Review outcomes need to be imaginative to ensure best provision and maximum progress.

· Leadership and management structures at the centre should be highly focussed – lean, mean and accountable. The infrastructure of support will be based as close to schools as possible and well-supported.

· Clear systems for Monitoring and Evaluation should be established.

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Why Change?

  • Clearer definition of LA/school responsibilities:

    • Schools: Provision and extended services, 92p in the pound of available resources

    • LA: standards, monitoring, support for failing/under performing schools

  • Good to great:

    • Lack of performance/outcomes/impact orientation

    • Poor communication of overall strategy

    • Silo structure inhibiting flexibility and creating duplication

  • A foundation for ECM: CAF, lead professional, multi-disciplinary teams, 5 outcomes, information sharing, single point of access...

  • Building school capacity:

    • Multi-disciplinary teams to focus on school systems rather than pupils

    • Shared pathways of care more important than diagnosis by individual services

  • Difficulties with trading in current system:

    • Differential access for pupils

    • Complex financial planning

    • No Service Level Agreement

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  • Children first

  • High quality provision in schools

  • High quality casework

  • Maintaining professional development

  • Maintaining expertise in SEN

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DMT: 14/3/06

  • Publish one model not three

  • Cabinet paper to start the process

  • Wide consultation and involvement of schools and services during consultation via a group

  • Need to engage parents with discussion

  • Selection process not to begin until September

  • Identify two staff to support the process

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Scope of the Review

  • To summarise resources currently available within Access and Inclusion Services and complete an equalities impact assessment

  • To identify functions to be managed centrally, related to monitoring and reporting, provision standards, and support for failing schools, and policy consultation and development

  • To recommend a future model of service delivery aligning support services with with local area delivery, and the new departmental structure

  • To make recommendations on staffing structures, roles and responsibilities

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Phases of the Review

  • Phase 1- Summer 2006

    • Publication of service model, staffing structure and action plans

    • Consultation with stakeholders

    • Revision of plans

  • Phase 2- Autumn 2006

    • Appointments to new structure

  • Phase 3- Spring 2007

    • Phased implementation of new arrangements

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Timescales to start process

Cabinet approval for process:*

  • Managers mtg 16th March,

  • SMT 20-24th March

  • Cabinet April 7th

    Cabinet approval for second stage: to be decided

    *Appointment of consultant(s) to manage the process is crucial

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Review Documents

  • Restructuring Advice from Personnel

  • The area approach within Leicestershire’s SEN Strategy

  • The National SEN Strategy

  • The National SEN Adviser Report on Leicestershire

  • OfSTED Report: Inclusion: The Impact of LEA Support and Outreach Services (2005)

  • The DfES Five Year Strategy

  • Review of School Staffing Structures

  • Equality Impact Assessment

  • Guidance on the role of Lead Professionals

  • National Report on Low Incidence Provision (www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR729.pdf)

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We need area working to co-ordinate the complex set of services available

Special Educational Needs Assessment Service

Advanced Skills Teachers for SEN

Specialist Teaching Service including: Learning Support Team, Hearing Impaired service, Visual Impaired Service, Autism Outreach Service, Early Years and SEN Inclusion Team, Advisory Teacher for PD

Enhanced Resource Bases being developed for BESD

Unit provision for MLD, ASD, Speech and Language Difficulties

Social Services Teams

Parent Partnership Service

Specialist Community Child Health Services including: Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Diana Nursing Service

Area SENCO (primary only)

Voluntary sector organisations

Specialist Nursery Provisions

Youth Offending Service

Connexions Service

Student Support Service including Primary PRU, Secondary PRUs, Directions Team, Looked after Children’s Education Service, Traveller Education Service, Education Welfare Service

Advice and Inspection Service including SEN Inspector and SENCOs

Special School outreach and Inclusion support

Educational Psychology Service

Family Steps Service

Early Support Programme

Youth Service

Leicester Royal Infirmary Services

Local Area Working: Rationale

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Lead Professional services available

  • Act as a single point of contact

    • for the child or family, who they can trust and who can engage them in making choices, navigating their way through the system and effecting change

  • Co-ordinate the delivery of an agreed action plan

    • based on the outcome of the assessment, to ensure that children and families receive an effective service which is regularly reviewed

  • Reduce overlap and inconsistency

    • in the services received

      In many cases practitioners are already delivering these functions. We now want to ensure that they are embedded across the children’s workforce as a core aspect of the services children with additional and complex needs receive, to ensure consistency and quality in service delivery for all children and young people.

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The Lead SENCo initiative is in place and is proving successful, particularly in 2 schools where SEN has been a key issue in OFSTED inspections and in 2 schools in a category. Below is an extended evaluation.


· Felt they had supported schools in practical ways.

· 2 felt they didn’t have as many opportunities as they would have liked.

· 4 felt it has been a useful professional development opportunity – liaison, meeting other lead SENCOs, improving presentation skills.

· 4 felt it had enabled them to think about their own practice.

· Liaison with each other and SEN Team helped them to be successful in the role.

· Issues around time/diaries/other commitments were main issues.

· 3 felt that providing supply cover to the supported schools would be useful. All 5 are happy to continue the role and to be involved in supporting new SENCOs, if appropriate.

Headteacher of Lead SENCO

· Benefits for the SENCO were recognition of their skills and professional development opportunities.

· Wider benefits to the school include reflection on own practice and sharing of good practice.

· Difficulties have mainly been around time/workload.

· Further support included attendance at relevant LEA training and joint initial visits with advisory teacher.

· Overall – a good experience but 1 concern about additional pressure.

Supported SENCO

· Aspects of practice/provision changed as a result of advice:

· Improved differentiation.

· Practical ideas for inclusion.

· Organisational strategies.

· Revised IEP format.

· Provision mapping.

· Work sampling.

· Support has enabled more appropriate and effective learning for pupils e.g. through differentiation and better management of SEN.

· No further training intended as a result of the input.

· 1 SENCO has visited a Lead SENCO in their own setting.

· All felt it was very useful and provided professional and constructive advice.

· Some school support to continue.

Headteacher of supported school

· Support led to improved practice and organisational strategies with particular members of staff and greater self-confidence for the SENCO.

· Support has led to wider whole school discussions about teaching and learning, organisation and target setting.

· The main factor that helped the support to be successful was the understanding and helpful attitude of the Lead SENCOs

· Continued support in some schools will happen next year.

· 1 headteacher wanted more feedback.

ML Wave 3 04-05 Eval report


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Key elements: successful, particularly in 2 schools where SEN has been a key issue in OFSTED inspections and in 2 schools in a category. Below is an extended evaluation.

A unified central SEN service

Multi-professional local area teams

With a role to:

Monitor central SEN budgets

Establish monitoring system based on SEN SEF

Establish an SLA with schools for SEN support

Commission service via second SLA or directly employ staff

Set policy, strategy and standards, including Prof Dev for specialist staff

Manage LAA, APA, JAR, CYPP, LSPs, BVPIs, CPA, etc

Lead complex case panels in specialist areas of need

Handle queries and complaints

Support Perf Man for staff with specialist skills

Agree annual support plan with each school, based on SEN SEF discussion

Deploy support staff to schools

Commission lead SENCOs etc in area to support work

Deliver support to children, schools and families, including training, project casework

Manage area, neighbourhood and school Multi-disciplinary Team

Develop secondment arrangements for local staff to service for 2-3 terms

Undertake monitoring work to central specification

Overall Shape of New Services

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LA has an SLA with special schools to deliver a support service to mainstream schools in the area.

Central team has a role to manage complex case panels, standards and monitoring and planning


Fits area special school model

Local responsiveness to need

Strong political support for the programme

Approach called for by OFSTED (2005)


Will advice be independent?

Changes professional team relations: new shared identity as area team on top of professional identity

Model: Commissioned Service from Area Special Schools

  • “LEAs should:...

    • · consider, wherever possible, delegating the funding for support services to suitable special schools within a region in order that they can deliver the service to mainstream schools on an outreach basis”

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Problems service to mainstream schools in the area.

Small teams tied to arbitrary boundaries that risk being inflexible to shifts in the distribution of low incidence needs.

The areas of expertise currently located in area special schools does not reflect the skills and strategies required to meet the wide ranging SEN of mainstream children and young people, many of whom will not experience cognitive difficulties.

Unavoidable duplication of resources

Potential difficulties in defining the respective roles of local and central management.

No impartial professional view creating potential for dispute and/or conflicts of interest between professionals, local and central interests.

Poor co-ordination of activities and resources across the County leading to potential for inequitable provision.

A continuing requirement for centralised technical support and a possibility of distancing this support from the work directly undertaken with children.

Duplication of administrative tasks and/or additional pressure on administrative resources in host schools.


No single point of contact for referrals within or outside Children’s Services with regard to SEN.

Fragmented knowledge base

Unclear funding streams for work not directly associated with schools, e.g. EYSENIT, VI and HI home teaching programmes, EarlyBird and Autism Outreach (Early Years) provision.

Weakened opportunities for dispute resolution around individual cases.

No impartial professional view creating potential for dispute/ conflicts of interest between professionals, local and central interests.


Boundaries link to school groupings- flexibility between area teams

Agreed: these teams would extend the expertise of area special schools

There is duplication now and no coherent whole school focus

Agreed- clear boundaries and roles are needed

Complex case panels could do this

Again, via complex case panels and central standards

No data currently available on equity from service- will be done by area teams

Will need centralised elements eg hearing tests and equipment- pupils have to travel now

Admin support will need to be located with teams

Can be included in design specification for future buildings

Schools complain now that there is not a single point of contact

Central team will ensure coherent knowledge base applied to schools

Service level agreement will clarify what is being commissioned

Complex case panels will do this work

Strong argument for central complex case panels to ensure equity across county

Service Model : Commissioned Service from Area Special Schools- detail

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Challenges service to mainstream schools in the area.

Capacity/accomodation on school sites

How to identify lead professionals

Balancing local and cross county deployment

Caring for staff and maintaining motivation and morale

LA- schools relationship may worsen

Need for robust SLA and monitoring

Service for vulnerable or service for SEN?

SSS should be included

Importance of teachers teaching

Referral pathways

Involvement of parents

Long term absence in small teams

Match to children’s centres and social care

Equality of provision

Need for speedy operation of panels

First phase to include audit and equality impact assessment


Some teams could be mainstream based

Better engagement of voluntary sector- using services smarter

Why not focus on communities rather than schools


better local knowledge and accountability

better collaborative work between services rather than handing cases on

Better training could be delivered

Teams would become more aware fo each others work

Foundation for interagency work

Managers Meeting: 16/3/06

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Redbridge service to mainstream schools in the area.

Longstanding Children’s Trust A/D Colin Moor 020 8708 3056


Good workforce remodelling, totally integrated EY service. Helen Norris Head of EY and Play 020 8464 3333


Generally very well organised LA. Francis James


Good SEF with integrated SEN. Ingrid ?


Special Schl hub and spokes model with health. A/D Mike Golding 019 1533 1000


4 locality based teams, including EPs


Great enthusiasm for change. A/D Steve Colwill


Good strategy for children’s centres and extended schools. Rita Sylvester

Other LAs to Visit

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Complete work on model, structure and plans for publication Apr 10th

Undertake an audit of needs and provision

Complete consultations on proposed service structure and action plans

Organise visits to other LAs

CP, plus senior managers (DH, TH, CB)

All managers- Pat Norton to lead

Pat and Danielle to lead

Pat Norton to lead

Further Work

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Other LAs... Apr 10th

Charlie, you asked us for info on how other authorities organise their SEN support services.

I have a colleague in Northants.

She heads a team of pre-school/Area SENCOs who operate in 4 areas within multi-disciplinary teams with teachers for children with learning difficulties in schools, HI and VI teachers and teachers who work with children with behavioural difficulties and EPs.

EPs have their own Principal but the area team teachers are managed by an SEN Area Teacher Manager.

My Colleague holds a monthly staff meeting for all her pre-school /Area SENCOs and Portage Service (which she also manages) and then the area multi-disciplinary teams have their own meetings.

These 4 teams are based in office accommodation not schools

She herself is in an office with heads of teacher teams (HI, VI etc) and her line manager is the Principal EP. He in turn is managed by the overall Head of Service.

Other Teams working with vulnerable children are in a separate service.

My colleague is responsible for the overall strategy for the pre-school team, deals with referrals and organises training for the providers.

She is responsible for the Teams' professional development but the day to day of recording sickness, time off in lieu, travel claims etc is undertaken by the local SEN Area Teacher Manager.

Having said all that, Northants have had a budget cut (£9 million) and so job losses may be on the cards and then it has been mooted that the teams will be centralised to save on accommodation resourses etc!

Janis Meadowcroft, March 2006