Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Nottinghamshire provides a wide range of support to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities aged 0-25 and their families. This is achieved by working in partnership with parents, carers, children, schools and other agencies such as health, social care and the voluntary sector.

Nottinghamshire SEND Policy (2020-2023)

The Nottinghamshire SEND Policy was approved by the County Council’s Policy Committee on Wednesday 30 September 2020.

The Nottinghamshire SEND Policy builds on over 30 years of learning and best practice in Nottinghamshire. In recent years, the SEND landscape has changed significantly, and this Policy has been developed with the Council’s key stakeholders, including parents and carers, in response to these changes:

  • there are now more children and young people with SEND
  • the SEND needs of some children have become more complex, especially around social, emotional and mental health
  • new legislation stipulates that the Council must now plan support for some young people with SEND until the age of 25 years.

Underpinning the SEND Policy is the Council’s continuing commitment to inclusive practice. The Council’s inclusive approach ensures that most children and young people with SEND receive their education in local mainstream settings and access resources without the need for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The SEND Policy also considers the recommendations of the Review of the High Needs Block, which was commissioned by the Council and the Schools Forum in 2018, and the feedback from the subsequent consultation with parents/carers and other key stakeholders. The High Needs Block is part of the Dedicated Schools Grant and supports provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from their early years to age 25.  The High Needs Block Review made the following recommendations:

  • engagement with parents and carers should be increased
  • the quality of mainstream SEND offers should be improved and made more consistent
  • decision making should be based more in local areas
  • a more focussed strategy around High Needs Block spend should be developed
  • the Council should reduce reliance on high cost Independent Non-Maintained placements
  • the Council should make the case to national Government for an increase of Nottinghamshire’s share of available funding.

The SEND Policy’s vision is for ‘Nottinghamshire to be a place where children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) will be safe, healthy and happy, have a good quality of life and opportunities to fulfil their aspirations, develop their independence and make a positive contribution to society’.

The SEND Policy sets out the values and principles which will shape the Council’s work with children and young people with SEND and their families and identifies 12 essential outcomes to be achieved over the next three years.  These values, principles and outcomes have been strongly informed by the feedback received from parents and carers.

To deliver these outcomes, the SEND Policy identifies six broad steps.  During the next few months the Council, together with parents/carers and other key stakeholders, will be developing an action plan to support the delivery of the Policy’s outcomes.  This action plan will be owned and monitored regularly by the Nottinghamshire SEND Accountability Board. 

Nottinghamshire's Local Offer

Local authorities provide details of all the services and provision that are available to families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This is known as the Local Offer. 

The Local Offer aims to bring together helpful and useful information for children and young people with SEND and their families, regardless of the complexity of need.

The majority of the services and provision within the Local Offer will be universally available without the need for any form of assessment or referral.  Where an assessment or referral is required, we have asked providers to make this clear.

Additional support

If you think that additional support is required to meet the needs of your child, or if, as a young person, you would like some extra help, please use the Local Offer to identify what is available and who you can contact to access this help and support. 

It is expected that the majority of needs can be met through the Local Offer, without the requirement for a Statutory Assessment or an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan.  When considering any requests for an EHC plan, evidence will be sought as to how the Local Offer has been used to support the child/young person’s needs.  The aim is for information to be located in one, easily located website.  It can be accessed through smart phones and tablets as well as via the internet. 

Staff in Nottinghamshire County Council’s Customer Service Centre will also be able to provide details of the information contained within the Local Offer to those without easy access to the internet. They can be contacted on 0300 500 8080.

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