Although a formal committee of Brighton & Hove City Council, the Health & Wellbeing Board has a remit which includes matters relating to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Local Safeguarding Board for Children and Adults and Healthwatch.




The new SEND Strategy 2021-2026

Date of Meeting:


26 January 2021

Report of:


Georgina Clarke-Green, Assistant Director for Health, SEN & Disability



Tel: 07827880742



Wards Affected:


All wards



Executive Summary


The city’s current Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) strategy expired at the end of 2019 and over the previous five years the SEND landscape has changed dramatically. These changes include the introduction of new national legislation and a code of practice and a significant redesign of special education provision in the city following the SEND review. Therefore, it is a timely moment to produce a new, ambitious SEND Strategy for the city. The new SEND Strategy 2021-2026 is due to be formally launched at the end of January 2021.  


The purpose of the strategy is to deliver on a city-wide agreed vision for the commissioning and delivery of SEND services, providing a framework against which provision can be measured and improved. The strategy has been co-produced between a range of local partners and stakeholders: the Local Authority; Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and our local parent organisations PaCC and Amaze led on producing the final document.


It is being presented to the board because of the significant health element embedded within the strategy and because there are a range of actions that are specific to adults who have learning disabilities.

This is a strategy aimed at supporting our most vulnerable children, young people and adults within the city, all of whom will benefit significantly from the delivery of this new strategy.


Glossary of Terms

SEND        Special Educational Needs and Disability

LD              Learning Disability

PaCC        Parent and Carer Council

CCG          Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS          National Health Service

BAME        Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic

SENDCo  Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator



1.           Decisions, recommendations and any options


1.1         That the Board note and endorses the new final SEND Strategy 2021-2026.


2.           Relevant information


2.1         Development of the SEND Strategy 2021-2026

The SEND Partnership Board was responsible for overseeing the development of the strategy. The board is a strategic partnership with representation from the council (comprising education and social care services), NHS, CCG, schools, the further education sector, the community and voluntary sector, parent carers, children and young people. The board has lead responsibility for the development and implementation of services for children with SEN, disabilities and complex needs in Brighton and Hove. It has to ensure that all partners deliver the best possible services by utilising the knowledge and expertise of statutory agencies, organisations in the wider community and parents, children and young people.


2.2     The board provides strategic direction with regard to the commissioning and delivery of inclusive services for children and young people with SEND and complex needs, provides stakeholder perspectives, promotes participation and engagement and develops recommendations for transformation of service delivery. It was within this remit that a sub-group of the SEND partnership board met and agreed the co-production process for the development of the new strategy.


2.3      At the start of the process, a range of early face-to-face consultations took place with a wide group of stakeholders including council officers, parents/carers, schools, colleges, Adult LD services, early years professionals, CCG, health professionals, the voluntary sector and others.


2.4      Children and young people with SEN and adults with LD have also contributed directly to the development of the strategy.


2.5      In reflecting upon the initial feedback from all stakeholders, the SEND Partnership Board agreed the following principles for developing the new strategy:


·      To adopt an open, co-produced approach with families, service users and all stakeholders.

·      To ensure the voice of our service users, colleagues and stakeholders is fully embedded.

·      The strategy should lead to meaningful impact for those in receipt of services.

·      The strategy should ensure that whatever is developed, it is an approach that works from individual needs through to providing a city-wide approach.

·      The strategy must remain live, relevant and should be designed to be flexible where needed over the course of the next five years.

·      Create a framework that enables progress to be measured and the strategy to be held to account through the SEND partnership board.


2.6       Six priorities were identified and agreed as priority areas for the new strategy:


·         Inclusion and Equality

·         Early Identification and Intervention

·         SEND Journeys/Pathways

·         Achievement and Outcomes

·         Transitions and Preparing for the Future -

·         Sufficiency of SEND Services and Provision


2.7       Wider consultation on the draft strategy

After an extensive co-production process with a range of stakeholders, the draft SEND strategy was presented to the CYPS Committee on the 15 June 2020 for the committee to note the draft strategy and the planned wider consultation process. The aim of the further consultation was to ensure that we had captured the voice of the wider SEND community in the final document. 


2.8       The consultation process started on the 19 June 2020 and finished on the 18 September 2020. It was facilitated through a survey monkey published on the Brighton and Hove City Council website. The weblink was widely publicised through a range of partner agencies and internal networks as listed below:


·         PaCC

·         Amaze

·         Clinical Commissioning Group

·         Head teachers

·         SENDCo’s

·         FCL Comms


2.9         In addition to the survey monkey, there has been a focussed piece of work with the BAME Community undertaken by PaCC, Amaze, A Seat at the Table and the Hangleton and Knoll Project.  A report captured feedback from an online survey (completed by 60 BAME families, sent to 500+ families on the Compass Disability Register) and a series of one to one semi-structured phone interviews with 25 families from various communities and ethnic backgrounds.


2.10      Two focus groups were organised for councillors so that members had an opportunity to consider the draft SEND Strategy in more detail, ask questions of officers and provide feedback on the document.     

2.11      Once the consultation had finished, the feedback was collated and key reoccurring themes identified. A group of key partners that comprised representatives from the CCG, Local Authority, PaCC and Amaze met on the 23 September 2020 to consider the feedback and propose a series of amendments to the draft that reflected the views submitted through the survey. PaCC has also further consulted their steering group.

2.12      A range of amendments were made to the draft strategy to reflect the feedback from the consultation. The final document is in Appendix 1.

2.13      SEND Strategy – Governance

After the launch of the strategy, the SEND Partnership Board will be responsible for overseeing the progress made against each of the priorities and an annual update report will come to CYPS Committee and the Health and Wellbeing Board.

2.14    Each priority area will have a strategic action plan that will list milestones, measures of success and key leads for more detailed actions. The action plan will be delivered through a linked workstream group made up of key stakeholders who can oversee and lead the work needed in that area.


2.15    Each Workstream will also have a PaCC Steering Group representative as a member. This essential role is to ensure there is a built-in mechanism for parent/carer feedback and contributions at all points of the strategy management. The PaCC rep will join the priority area workstream meetings, ask key questions and provide challenge on the progress made.


2.16    Each workstream will then present a highlight report (containing progress made against of the actions and issues that require escalation) on a rotational basis to the SEND partnership board. The SEND Partnership Board will be responsible for holding those delivering the strategy to account.






3.      Important considerations and implications


3.1         In September 2014, the introduction of the Children and Families Act brought about major reforms to the way Local Authorities and other organisations support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 0-25 years is the related statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people. This places a duty on the Local Authority to consult children with SEND and their parents or carers when reviewing local SEN and social care provision.

3.2         Public consultation has taken place on the new SEND strategy (2021-2026). The consultation exercise meets the common law duties in respect of procedural fairness, as well as duties set out in the statutory guidance that children, young people, their parents and carers must be consulted in determining the Council’s strategy for SEND. The SEND Strategy sets out an approach which supports the achievement of positive outcomes for young people with SEND, within the framework of the legislative duty to ensure efficient use of public resources.


Lawyer consulted:        Sandra O’Brien                        Date: 05.01.21




3.3         Future strategies and priorities will need to be considered in conjunction with available budget. In terms of Council finance, the scope of services included crosses both Council General Fund and Dedicated Schools Grant budgets. As part of the Dedicated Schools Grant settlement for 2021/22, the Government has announced an additional sum of £730m nationally for high needs. For Brighton and Hove, this equates to an increase in the High Needs Block (HNB) allocation of c. £2.9m. This additional resource will give the LA some capacity to develop strategies in line with agreed priority areas. However, there are existing significant and growing pressures that also need to be addressed within this funding settlement.


Finance Officer consulted:     Steve Williams              Date: 05.01.21



3.4         The ability of residents with disabilities to access services and make progress has been a key consideration in the development of this new strategy. Improving outcomes for all in the city with SEND is a key priority for all partners and will be monitored as part of this work.


3.5         Many protected characteristics feature heavily in the strategy; we have worked closely with our partners and parent groups to ensure that we reflect the diversity in the city.


3.6         One of the strategic actions in the ‘Sufficiency of SEND Services and Provision’ priority is to carry out a city-wide SEND sufficiency project. This will involve developing datasets that will help us to identify what provision and services we require to support those with SEND going forward. We will incorporate the findings from our equalities assessment work into that project.


3.7         Any actions identified from our equalities impact assessment work will be incorporated into the SEND Strategy priority action plans where appropriate. This will ensure that those actions will be part of the regular monitoring of progress and scrutiny of data by the SEND Partnership Board.



An agreed SEND Strategy within the city allows for more informed commissioning in this area, supporting best value for public resources.


Health, Social Care, Children’s Services and Public Health:

Early discussions on the new SEND Strategy development have taken place to ensure it is aligned with the city’s existing Health & Wellbeing Strategy.


4             Supporting documents and information


            Appendix1: Brighton and Hove SEND Strategy 2021-2026