Skip to main content

Stockport's Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy 2020-23

SEND Strategy Foreword

As local leaders, we are delighted to introduce our new co-produced SEND Strategy. In the last few years, significant work has been undertaken in relation to our improvement journey within Stockport. We are clear that SEND is everyone’s business. The agenda is now clearly owned by our senior leaders across Stockport.

The lived experience of children, young people and their families with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is central to our developments and co-production is fundamental within our continuing work. We value, and will continue to listen to, our SEND community. This is particularly the case for our children and young people. We will continue to learn from what they tell us and ensure their voices influence our work and developments going forwards.

The partnership approach has been built up over the last few years and as a Local Area we will continue to move this forward. We have been pleased to launch our co-produced, Co-production Charter. This will provide the basis of our work going forwards with our SEND community.

We are continuing to look at our offers of support and how these can be improved and built upon. Our new Outcomes Framework, which has been co-produced, is key to future developments. We need to focus as a Local Area on the longer-term outcomes of our young people and be aspirational for their futures.

We now have a joint investment plan across Stockport with priorities set.

This is owned by the Joint Commissioning Group. The SEND Strategy represents our overall vision and brings together the work undertaken. The Strategy will run from 2020 until 2023 but is a working document, which we will review as our journey continues.

The strategy is fully in line with the emerging One Stockport campaign and approach. At its core is the spirit of collaboration, inclusion, equality and community. We know that we will have the biggest impact on improving lives when we work together across public services, businesses and communities.

PACTS welcomes this strategy. It sets out priorities that should make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people with SEND in Stockport and their families. We commit to continue listening to the voice of parents and carers in Stockport and working with the Local Area to reshape services and support, so they reflect families’ views even more fully.

CLLR Colin Foster SEND Strategy Foreword:

SEND is everyone’s business and I am therefore pleased to introduce the Stockport SEND strategy. This is the culmination of our transformation and improvement journey so far. I am clear we need to be aspirational for our Stockport children and young people with SEND. As a borough, we are ambitious in our plans for transformation in order to achieve the best outcomes for our young people. I therefore fully support the work as outlined in this strategy.

Cllr Colin Foster
Cabinet Member for Children, Family Services and Education

"It's really important that young people are listened to and feel like they are listening to"

"We want things to get better for generations to come"

"Provision should be designed to meet the needs of all children and young people with SEND"

"Involving parents/carers, children and young people has been a key part of co-production in helping to shape and redesign the Stockport SEND Local Offer"

If you want to find out more about the SEND improvement journey in Stockport and how you can be involved please email



This strategy sets out the main priorities for 2020 to 2023 for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in Stockport. The strategy is based on the voices of children, young people and their families and has co-production through working together at the heart of it.

The priorities have been co-produced by the Local Area partners and agreed by the SEND Board and Health and Wellbeing Board. Stockport Council, Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Parents and Carers Together Stockport (PACTS) are co-signers of this strategy. The role of PACTS is to listen to the views of Stockport parent/carers where children and young people have SEND and use them to co-produce, design and review the services and support described in this strategy.

Stockport is currently on an improvement journey following the local area inspection in 2018. Since this date, we have jointly developed our agenda. The full improvement plan can be found here which also contains the data we are committed to improving (Appendix 1).

A number of events have taken place with parents and carers to gain feedback on services and the experiences of children, young people and their families, which has informed this strategy. Our parents, carers and young people have co-designed the various areas of work underpinning the strategy and they continue to work in partnership across the wide range of workstreams and priority areas. Our young people contribute through our Young Ambassadors group and through work in our college settings.

This Strategy is linked to the overarching Council Plan and the CCG’s Strategic Plan.

The Stockport Picture

A SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), reviewing health and social care needs across the area, was created in 2019. The information in the JSNA is used to inform our strategies and service plans. The full JSNA can be found here. The headline information is:

  • In Stockport 7,714 children and young people (0-25 year olds) have Special. Educational Needs and/or a Disability SEND).
  • Of those with SEND, 71% have their needs met at SEN Support and 29% have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP).
  • The number of EHC plans in Stockport has increased from 1,775 in 2015 to 2,228 in 2018.
  • The proportion of EHC plans in Stockport is much higher than similar areas or the national figure.
  • Amongst all school-aged children with SEND 61% attend mainstream primary schools, 26% mainstream secondary schools and 10% special schools.
  • The proportion of children with SEND is twice as high in the more deprived areas of Stockport.
  • The most common areas of need identified in EHC plans are:
    • Social, emotional and mental health needs,
    • Speech, Language and Communication needs and
    • Autism
  • A quarter of children with SEND miss at least 10% of their schooling.

Vision and Priorities

We want to achieve the best possible outcomes for our children and young people with SEND and their families. Wherever possible we aim to ensure
that children, young people and their families are able to access appropriate services at an early stage with a focus of early help and SEN Support. This will
prevent any unnecessary escalation of issues or barriers to achieving positive outcomes for children and young people.


Our vision is for all children and young people with SEND to have the best start in life. We want all children and young people to be happy, prepared for adulthood and able to achieve their goals. We want families to feel supported, confident, resilient and connected to their community.

The five strategic priorities that have been agreed for Stockport are:

  1. Co-production - That all work proactively and together with parents, carers, young people and other partners to improve service planning, design, delivery and review, and to make sure that services are child, young people and family-focused. Our work will be guided by the Stockport Co-Production Charter.

  2. Joint Commissioning - We will make sure that health, education and social care work with children, young people and their families to agree on shared priorities and direct resources to where they measurably improve outcomes.

  3. Inclusion - We want to make sure that all early years settings, schools, colleges and services provide high-quality inclusive arrangements that meet the needs of children and young people with SEND locally. We want to make sure that settings are supported to do this with appropriate resources and support.

  4. Outcomes - We will make sure there is a shared drive to provide services that have the best impact so that short and longer-term results for children and young people with SEND are improved. We will make sure there is evidence of their achievements and progress across all areas, including social, emotional, educational and independence, making sure it is focused on outcomes.

  5. Workforce - We will make sure that we have a skilled, trained and confident workforce supported by brave and bold leaders to deliver these priorities.


Stockport is committed to co-production within all of its work and has developed a Co-production Charter. This will provide the basis for all plans both strategically and operationally.

The Local Area is committed to the following principles:
• Be open and honest
• Actively listen
• Value the lived experience
• Do what matters
• Be accountable and responsive
• Work together
• Be respectful

We will actively listen to all partners within our work and developments.
This includes parent/carers and young people as well as professionals and the wider Stockport community.

Good examples of our co-production include:
• Parent/carer representatives within the improvement workstreams
• Parent/carer representatives on SEND Board
• Co-produced Outcomes Framework
• Co-produced job descriptions and involvement in recruitment
• Co-produced support materials during the Coronavirus pandemic
• Co-delivery of support for families in response to Coronavirus
• Co-produced transition training
• Co-delivery of the SEND Facebook Group
• Co-development and co-delivery of national co-production week to
   raise the profile of our co-production work and achievements

Joint Commissioning

The Local Area has co-produced a Joint Commissioning Plan 2020-2023. The Plan outlines investment and commissioning priorities which are shared by all parties. The Plan was produced with parent/carer input and the seven priorities identified are:

  1. Effective early help for all children and families
  2. Timely access to services
  3. Family and parental support
  4. Mental health and emotional wellbeing
  5. Personal budgets and individual commissioning
  6. Speech, language and communication
  7. Preparing for adulthood

The delivery of these priorities is overseen by the Joint Commissioning Group, which meets monthly to discuss progress.

Read the full Joint Commissioning Plan 2020-2023

Good examples of joint commissioning include:

  • Joint funding of Stockport’s parent/carer forum, Parents and Carers Together Stockport (PACTS)
  • Joint commissioning of the SEND Independent Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)
  • Joint development of a Speech and Language Service Specification
  • Joint commissioning of the Emotional Wellbeing Hub


Stockport is committed to increasing inclusion. A recent review of the High Needs Block of the Designated Schools Grant took place and a full inclusion strategy and action plan have been recommended. This will be developed in 2020 and will be co-produced with all partners, including parent/carers and young people.

Good examples of work in relation to inclusion include:

  • Co-produced Entitlement Framework to help support our mainstream settings
  • Co-produced transition materials for schools and settings to help smooth transition

Improved and Defined Outcomes

Stockport has co-produced, with parent/carers and young people, an Outcomes Framework which sets out what we will achieve for children and young people within Stockport. Outcomes statements were codeveloped in workshop sessions with the Council for Disabled Children and were consulted on before final sign off. The outcomes statements will now be included within the SEND Strategy and Joint Commissioning arrangements in Stockport. The Outcomes Framework can be found here.

Stockport has the following plans in place to apply the Outcomes Framework:

  • The Framework will continue to develop with further co-production and input from families and the main stakeholders
  • EHCPs will use the outcome statements in goal setting and will review progress through the annual reviews
  • The Stockport SEND performance dashboard will link to the outcome statements and used to measure progress by the Stockport SEND Board and Health and Wellbeing Board
  • All contracts with health, social care and education providers will commit to the Stockport Outcomes Framework and this will be shown in contracts and evidenced in performance monitoring.

Good examples of work on our Outcomes include:

  • Council for Disabled Children facilitated workshops with stakeholders to prioritise outcomes and agree on measures
  • Young Ambassadors’ Workshop where young people’s voices have helped to shape the statements
  • National Council for Disabled Children Webinar to share Stockport’s Outcomes Framework development
  • Further co-production events and developmental work to take place through the summer of 2020.


To ensure we have a skilled and trained workforce to deliver our priorities, a Workforce Development Plan is being developed during 2020. The Plan includes education, health and social care professionals as well as parents/ carers and young people. Training will include SEND awareness from the induction process through to specialist training. The Plan is being co-produced across partner organisations and with parent/carers.

Good examples of work on workforce development include:

  • Co-produced essential SEND e-Learning module for SEND Awareness training
  • Co-delivery of SEND learning circles with parents/carers
  • Co-delivery of PACTS webinar programme during Coronavirus

How we will achieve our vision

Stockport believes in partnership and co-production.
The following shows the people involved in the delivery of our strategy.

  • All our children and young people with SEND and their families through consultation events, surveys and feedback on the Local Offer. Professionals across the partnership; health, education and social care through consultation events.
  • SEND Community Inclusion Group made up of professionals, parents / carers and community members.
  • Additional parents/carers and young people through our Young Ambassadors, our parent/ carer forum and SEND Champions.
  • Operational leads and parent/ carers through multi-agency work-streams, sub-groups and stakeholder groups.
  • Strategic decision makers through SEND Board.

Stockport is committed to a joined-up approach between agencies:

  • Best possible transition to adulthood, Supported families, Better outcomes (Health/Education/Care), Co-Production solution focussed, Joined-up system
  • Actively listen to young people/families/each other), Make time to ask and do "what matters?", Value the lived experience, Involve young people and families, Be open, honest and Transparent
  • Change how we all work together, Shared decisions, Connect - know where to find information and support), Clear communication/information/support, Trust and respect young people/families/professionals

We must all follow the principles to ensure we achieve co-production so that we have a good transition into adulthood.

Stockport will make sure that information is both available and accessible to our community. There has recently been a review of our Stockport SEND Local
Offer. This has resulted in a dedicated post to update and continually improve the Local Offer.

Visit Stockport’s SEND Local Offer.

We are also committed to providing information and making sure the community has input. A SEND Community Inclusion Group has been developed to help with this input. The group meets every month and currently has 36 members. We have also developed a Network of Champions for SEND which currently has 96 volunteers made up of parent/carers, workforce and community partners. The Champions have so far been active in promoting the Local Offer and have been responsible for sharing information across the community as well as supporting others and highlighting service needs. The Network will continue to be developed to increase peer support opportunities as well as training and development. The group has met virtually every two weeks during the Coronavirus period.

Governance and Review

This Strategy is a working document and will be reviewed each year with partners. The Strategy is overseen by Stockport’s Health and Well-Being Board and its implementation is led by the SEND Board. The SEND Board includes senior leaders and parent carer representatives from the Local Area working together to create an overall vision and joint strategic direction for SEND. The Board is co-chaired by the Stockport Council’s Director of Children’s Services, Chris Mcloughlin, and the NHS CCG Accountable Officer, Andrea Green.

Read the full terms of reference for the SEND Board.

Please see below for our governance routes and ownership of our Local Area plans. We are committed to continuous improvement and will monitor our progress through the data shown in Appendix One and also through our Quality Assurance framework.

Appendix 1: Additional Impact Measures

*Note figures are 2017/18 provisional data.

Number Measure Phase Baseline Target Date By:
1. Reduce the difference in Progress 8 score for Stockport pupils at SEN support. -0.27 -0.20 July 2020

Reduce the difference in Progress 8 score for Stockport pupils with an EHC
Plan to the national average.

-1.31 -1.08 July 2020
3. Reduce the number of fixed period exclusions for pupils at SEN support. 15.18%* 14.76% July 2020
4. Reduce the number of fixed period exclusions for pupils with an EHC Plan. 21.90%* 20.90% July 2020
5. Reduced the number of permanent exclusions for pupils at SEN support. 0.21%* 0.20% July 2020
6. Reduce the number of permanent exclusions for pupils with an EHC Plan. 0.14%* 0.13% July 2020
7. Increase the overall attendance for pupils at SEN support Primary 94.3%* 94.6% July 2020
Secondary 90.5%* 91.5% July 2020
8. Increase the overall attendance for pupils with an EHC Plan. Primary 93.1%* 93.4% July 2020
Secondary 89.2%* 91.0% July 2020
9. Reduce the persistent absence rates for pupils at SEN support. Primary 15.5%* 14.3% July 2020
Secondary 28.2%* 26.0% July 2020
10. Reduce the persistent absence rates for pupils with an EHC Plan. Primary 20.8%* 19.5% July 2020
Secondary 28.9%* 26.5% July 2020

Decrease the number of young people with an EHC Plan that are Not in Education,
Employment or Training (NEET).

43 (January 2019) 35 July 2020

Increase the number of young adults (18-25yrs) with Leaning Disability (LD) in settled

88.7% 90.0% July 2020
13. Increase the number of young adults (18-25yrs) with LD in paid employment. 0.6% 10% July 2020

Please note that the dates of July 2020 were set at the time of submission of the written statement of action in 2019. The area will continue to monitor the progress of this data on a longer-term basis. There will be impact in 2020 on data availability due to COVID-19.