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SEND Board: Meeting Minutes & Summaries

Here information about the SEND Board that is leading the SEND improvements. It has members from education, health and social care plus parent/carer forum.

A summary will be published after each meeting and the full minutes will be available after they are agreed at the next meeting of the Board.

14th September 2021

Governance: The minutes from the June meeting were approved and an update was provided on the progress of actions. 

Key Worker pilot: An update was provided on the Key Worker pilot that began in June 2021.  There are six key workers from a range of services in Stockport.  Feedback from families had indicated that they did not want to deal with multiple professionals and wanted one key worker with one point of contact.  During the pilot, the key workers will take part in regular supervision sessions to understand any learning about what is working well and what is not working well for families such as barriers to accessing services.  The key worker had also made links with their families’ school.  It had been agreed that the pilot would run until December 2021 to provide the opportunity to obtain further feedback and learning on how to improve things for families and their children.  Further work would take place to obtain feedback from the children and young people.  An evaluation of the pilot would be carried out towards the end of the year and a report on the programme of work submitted to SEND Board.

Pennine Care HYMs (Healthy Young Minds service): An update was provided on how waiting lists will be managed; a number of posts had been successfully recruited to which should help address some of the backlog.  The Board were advised that a Pennine Care bid to access the Ealing Model (intensive therapy – autism) had been successful – a staffing model would be prepared for this programme of work. An agreement had been reached including further investment to manage the ASD waiting list with 60 cases a month being picked up by LancUK until March 2022 (for those children where it was appropriate to send them to LancUK).  HYMs would continue to focus on urgent referrals.  Referrals are received on a daily basis; these would continue to be triaged (signposted to the correct place).  A contract extension for the Early Help and Support Hub had been agreed (1:1 and group support for early help).  A new ASD lead had been appointed at the Council.  The priority would be to reduce the average length of time for the waiting lists.  Members discussed the support available to support families.  There is a lot of work taking place and the importance of communicating this to parents via the Local Offer was noted.

Personal Budgets: A lot of work had taken place to develop a training programme for practitioners and PAs (Personal Assistants) and those that will work with SEND children (such as transport – taxi drivers / chaperones).  This would include a welcome pack to provide information on the expectations from families and also information for families on how to recruit a PA.  It would involve around 18 hours of core training.

Re-visit preparation: Evidence is being collected from various sources in preparation for the re-vist by Ofsted and CQC.  Each workstream had produced a `Story Board’ to provide evidence of the work that has taken place; this would include case studies of where practice had changed to improve the outcomes for young people.

There is a feedback process on the Local Offer for parents/families to comment on anything that is important to them.

Performance Scorecard: A Report was circulated indicating those areas that would continue to be monitored closely due to targets not being met.  These areas included:

  • Personal Budgets
  • Persistent Absence for SEND pupils
  • Permanent Exclusion for SEND pupils
  • Children with EHCP and NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

A lengthy discussion took place on the issues surrounding progression to adulthood and accessing an appropriate curriculum.  A meeting had been arranged with College principals and an Extraordinary meeting of SEND Board would be arranged to discuss this in more detail.

Risk Register: An updated register was circulated for information and was noted.

Inclusion Strategy: A session had been held virtually with professionals across Stockport in the summer term to discuss the Inclusion Strategy – a further session is due to be held in October with schools.

AOB: A parent rep raised the issue of adults being removed from the Autism and ADHD waiting list and parents having to choose to opt-in to remain on the waiting list.  This issue would be followed up.

8th June 2021

Governance: The minutes from the May meeting were approved and an update was provided on the progress of actions. 

Keyworker update: 10 workers (from LSS, BSS, School Age team, Inclusion Coordinator, Health Visiting Team and Autism Team) had committed to take part in the pilot, to work with 10 families (8 of the families were already working within the SEND system, 2 were new referrals).  A baseline questionnaire would be circulated to have a starting point as to what support works well and what doesn’t work so well for families. Contact with families is likely to commence within the next two weeks.  Interim cover would also be considered to support families over the summer period for those keyworkers that worked term time.

Personal budgets: Policy documents along with correspondence letters for parents/carers were being finalised with lead officers from Education, Health, Care, Brokerage and Audit – initial documents had been uploaded on to the Local Offer. The Policy had been shared with Stockport Advocacy and Stockport SENDIASS (SEND Information, Advice and Support Service). A Task & Finish Group continues to meet every two weeks to ensure the process works for families.  The Stockport Model had been highlighted as a model of good practice within GM (Greater Manchester).

SEND Inclusion Community: Members were updated on the work of the SEND Inclusion Community, providing a forum for members to discuss current issues and share good practice.  Membership included professionals, voluntary sector, parents and carers but a request was put forward for this membership to be extended to any relevant group.  The Group had contributed to the activities delivered during the SEND week of action and had tested the Local Offer.  Valuable feedback on the Lived Experience of families is obtained through this group.

Performance Scorecard: Update papers had been circulated providing an overview of current data for a number of SEND measures.  It was noted that a revised process would be put in place so that any data that highlights a decrease in a measure is discussed in detail between meetings with workstream leads.

Re-visit preparation: A discussion took place on preparing for the imminent re-visit of SEND in Stockport. The set up presentation which will be shared with Ofsted inspectors on the first day was circulated to Board members.

Terms of Reference: The revised Terms of Reference (ToR) for SEND Board were approved; a copy would be uploaded on to the Local Offer.

Update on HYMs: It was noted that two areas remain behind trajectory for recovery of services: Autism and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  An update report would be circulated to Board on the actions to recover in these services.

Risk Register: An updated register was circulated for information and was noted.

11th May 2021

Governance: The minutes from the April meeting were approved and an update was provided on the progress of actions. It was agreed that Board members would be updated on feedback from Family Focus Group meetings / Parent & Champions meetings.

Board members were informed that two SEND Information briefing sessions had been held for Council and health workers (170 in attendance) with a further session planned for Adult Social Care and Board members for w/c 17th May. Feedback from these sessions had been positive.

Active Communities: Members were briefed on the Stockport Active Communities Strategy to support, enable and facilitate Children and Young People and adults to be more active.  This work links into the work taking place at GM (Greater Manchester) – `GM Moving’ and also the work taking place in schools to improve the emotional wellbeing of children.

The Stockport Local Pilot will include: SEND swimming, SEND Walking, SEND cycling as well as Workforce Development (upskill workers) and other activities.

The benefits of exercise were highlighted – this would be a family approach, to support them in their normal daily routines.

Keyworker pilot: Workers had now been identified for the Keyworker pilot which will due to commence at the beginning of June.  A review of the Pilot would take place in September.

Personal budgets: An update was provided on the progress of personal budgets.  The process would be reviewed as it developed to ensure it worked for parents and carers.  Work is also taking place to develop training for Personal Assistants to include specialised training where appropriate.  Updates would be included on the Local Offer as this work progresses.

HYMs: A trajectory on the resumption of services for Children and Young People would be presented at the next Board meeting.  Additional support had been agreed for the ASD pathway.  A discussion took place on the likely resumption of face to face assessments and to whether this could take place if the wearing of masks became mandatory.  It was noted that the video alternative delivered by LANCS UK is only suitable for some young people and face to face assessments would be still be required. 

SEND Performance Data: Board members were briefed on a number of measures to determine performance.  It was noted that there are over 2485 children with EHCPs (higher than national figures) and over 4900 children on SEN Support (lower than national figures).  The majority of EHCPs in Stockport are for MLD (Moderate Learning Difficulties); ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Speech and Language Communication needs.

Since the 2018 inspection, a new case management system had been installed – Liquid Logic and a Performance Scorecard to measure changes across for SEND outcomes statistically.

The number of EHCPs issued within 20 weeks is over 90%.

Stockport had the highest level of attendance for SEND children in Greater Manchester during Covid.  Further work is taking place to understand the number of fixed term exclusions – the majority of exclusions were for persistent disruptive behaviour. A report would be produced for Board on this issue.

A further discussion took place on the uptake of SEND e-learning by Council staff.  It was acknowledged that a different process would need to be put in place for those workers that are not office based and do not have access to a laptop as part of their job.

SEND Week of Action: Board members were encouraged to participate and share events for the SEND week of action taking place week beginning 17 May 2021.

Children & Young People’s Participation: Board members were updated on the involvement of C&YP on the SEND Improvement Journey.

9th March 2021

Governance: The minutes from the February meeting were approved and an update was provided on the progress of actions. 

Joint Commissioning update: An update was provided on work between NHS Stockport CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) and the LA (Local Authority) – both organisations work together to jointly commission (purchase – shared budget) services to support the SEND Improvement journey.  An update was provided on each of the priorities for the Group:

  1. Effective early help for all children and families
  2. Timely access to services
  3. Parental and family support
  4. Mental health and emotional wellbeing
  5. Speech, language and communication (SLC)
  6. Personal budgets
  7. Preparing for Adulthood

Lots of work is taking place with PACTS to embed Co-Production and understand the individual needs of children and young people and families.  It was noted that lots of data is collected but more work is needed to make sure it is relevant for decision making.

An update was provided on Children’s Therapy Services, noting increased demand and the complexity of joint budgets.  A discussion also took place on the need for services to be proactive rather than reactive.

Pennine Care HYMS (Healthy Young Minds Service): An update was provided on how waiting lists will be managed and on securing a permanent base for the service in Stockport. Stockport is above the national average for the number of referrals and below average for the number of whole time staff working in the service. The capacity of the duty team (on call for emergencies) had been doubled during Covid.

A discussion also took place on the impact for schools and the increase in cases expected on return to school.  An update was requested for the next meeting to fully understand the demands on the service.

Re-visit preparation: Evidence is being collected from various sources in preparation for the re-vist by Ofsted and CQC.  Each workstream will be producing a `Story Board’ to provide evidence of the work that has taken place; this would include case studies of where practice had changed to improve the outcomes for young people.

Personal Budgets: A Story Board provided an update on personal budgets.  A a lot of work is taking place to make the process easy for families.  PACTS are involved in the discussions to represent views for parents/carers.  It was noted that the workforce also needs to understand what personal budgets can be used for. 

SEN and EHCP: A Story Board provided an update on work for SEN support, co-producing the best way of measuring outcomes for families.  Further discussions will take place with families, children and young people, schools and SENCo’s on how to moderate (review) the SEN process.

Thematic Analysis: Ten case studies had previously been presented to Board by PACTS outlining the lived experiences for families of children with SEND.  A number of these families had been contacted again to see if anything had changed for them over a year.  The feedback highlighted the main priorities for families: Personal Budgets / Key worker for families / HYMS provision.  A discussion took place on these priorities and the best way to move them forward.

Performance Scorecard: Update papers had been circulated.

EHCP and Annual Review Update: A report was circulated for information and was noted.

Risk Register: An updated register was circulated for information and was noted.

9th February 2021

Governance: The minutes from the January meeting were approved and an update was provided on the progress of actions.  It was acknowledged that methods need to be put in place using data from schools to measure the impact of Covid on young people’s attainment.  Fortnightly drop-in sessions are held with School SENCo’s and service leads from the SEND team at the Council.

Pennine Care HYMS (Healthy Young Minds Service): An update was provided on the Business Continuity Plan for Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust HYMS.  A Task & Finish Group (a time-limited group) will action the issues.  Temporary accommodation plans are in place and extra capacity has been brought in for virtual assessments where appropriate for the young person.

Pre-inspection preparation: Evidence is being collected to prepare for the next inspection.  Each workstream will create a `Story Board’ to provide evidence of the work that has taken place including case studies of where practice had changed to improve the outcomes for young people.

SEN and EHCP Workstream: The workstream leads provided an update on their work against the WSoA (Written Statement of Action).  It was noted that SEND is an area of focus for the School Improvement Team of Advisers who monitor the work taking place in schools.

An action plan has been produced for Annual Reviews to ensure these are followed up with a plan.

Performance Scorecard: A review of the data relating to SEND performance (the Scorecard) took place.  Whilst there had been progress, some areas (measures) are delayed due to Covid and the restrictions in place.

Key worker proposal: A working group continues to meet to finalise plans for the SEND key worker pilot (one point of contact) for families.  Workshops have been held with managers from education, health and social care.

12th January 2021

At its meeting on 12/01/21, the SEND Board discussed the following:

Governance: minutes from the December meeting were agreed and an update was provided on actions.  It was noted that a SENCo (SEN Coordinators) Working Group will be working with the EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plans) Lead to look at the EHCP application process to provide feedback and make recommendations.

Pennine Care HYMS (Healthy Young Minds Service): discussion took place about accommodation issues for the Healthy Young Minds Service (HYMS). The Board asked for a full update at the next meeting.

Personal Budgets: Work is continuing to roll out an integrated Personal Budget (that covers education, health and social care) offer to families from 1 April 2021.  This included a discussion on the training requirements for personal assistants.

Performance Scorecard: It was noted that the numbers of pupils with SEND excluded from mainstream schools is reducing. Work is taking place to review the support offered to these pupils to support home learning where applicable. Discussions are taking place to make sure support is in place for Young Carers, whether in school or home learning.

Key worker proposal: A working group continues to meet about plans for the roll-out of the SEND key worker pilot (one point of contact) for families.

Co-Production: Discussion took place on the progress of ensuring the Co-Production Charter is part of `business as usual’ with members committing to `pledge’ it is included in all aspects of their work.  It was noted that direct feedback of young people to Board is needed. Feedback from the SEND Network of Champions (open to anyone) was highlighted as a valuable source of information.

Meetings in 2020

Meetings in 2019

Meetings in 2018