Child on playmat

Strategy outlines vision for SEND services in Northumberland

Northumberland County Council and Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have launched their SEND Strategy for 2021/24 following consultation with the children, young people and families it is prepared for.   
The strategy has been co-written with parents and carers within Northumberland for children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), their families, schools, settings, organisations, services and professionals who support them.   

It outlines the Council, CCG’S and key stakeholder's vision for children and young people with SEND and is aligned with the vision of the Children and Young People’s Plan for Northumberland ensuring that support is in place and opportunities are available so that all children and young people in the county have the best start in life, be safe, happy, healthy, confident, successful and be well prepared for adult life – improving their life chances and helping them to realise their aspirations.   
Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director for Adult and Children’s services, said: “This strategy will ensure that local services across education, health and social care work together to tackle any disadvantage or prejudice that negatively impacts upon our children and young people with additional needs.   
“We want to provide the best educational support possible and for parents and carers to be confident their children are making good progress. Our aim is to achieve good outcomes through high quality, inclusive practice in our schools, with services wrapped around children, young people and their families providing support at the earliest opportunity. For this strategy to be successful, we recognise our role and responsibility to work with children and their families to make sure that the support we provide is informed and shaped by the lived experiences of their children and young people.   
“By working together, particularly during these times, all of our children and young people with additional needs will receive the support and encouragement they need in order to reach their full potential and live independent lives.”  
The strategy’s launch follows a visit from OFSTED and CQC in which children, young people and their parents and carers gave feedback to inspectors on the support they receive from SEND services in the county.   
“We thank all those who took the time to take part in the survey either for the visit or in helping us to create a strategy that outlines our commitment and vision for SEND services in line with that of the aspirations for the support that is offered to children, young people, parents, carers and professionals across our county going forward” continued Cath.  Ofsted and CQC will publish their findings from their visit over the coming weeks.  
Whilst this strategy was vital prior to the Covid-19 pandemic it has highlighted an even greater need for a clear strategy on how to support children and young people with SEND and their families. Whilst refreshing this strategy it was made clear that the ambition and principles within it continue to apply in these uncertain times. However, the way in which services are delivered and move forward may look and feel different as we seek to recover from the pandemic.  
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “The council is committed to ensuring its SEND services meet the needs of children and young people and those who support them. This strategy outlines what those who use the services want from them going forward and helps us as an authority to plan ahead to ensure that we can fulfil on our commitment to them.” 
You can view the SEND Strategy 2021/24 at  
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