Our action plan (Written Statement of Action) | Central Bedfordshire Council

Our action plan (Written Statement of Action)

Written Statement of Action for SEND

Our Written Statement of Action (WSOA) sets out our plan to address the significant areas of weakness identified during the SEND Joint Area Inspection, which took place between 18 November - 22 November 2019.

We recognise that local children, young people, and their families deserve much better services in response to their needs and we fully intend to deliver on this. We are committed to delivering improvements in our local offer across education, care and health services. We will build on the things we know that already serve children and families well and will strengthen partnership working with parents, carers, children, and young people to identify and implement required improvements. 

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected services provided by practitioners and professionals who support children and young people (0-25 years) with SEND, and, although there were strengths identified, they also identified six areas of weakness:

  1. Existing Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans) are not of sufficient quality to ensure that the needs of children and young people are identified and met

  2. Leaders do not have sufficient oversight of the quality of new EHC Plans

  3. Area leaders in education, health and care do not have a shared understanding of the outcomes they want for children and young people with SEND

  4. The area’s SEND strategy is not clear

  5. Co-Production is not well informed by the views of children, young people, and their families

  6. The Local Offer is not effective

The council and CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) have been working together with the SNAP Parent and Carer Forum (SNAP) and other parents and professionals, to produce a plan to address these areas of concern. This plan is called a Written Statement of Action (WSoA).

The WSoA focusses on four themed areas as some of the Ofsted areas of weakness sit together.

Theme 1: Quality and oversight of EHC Plans (a combination of area of weakness 1 and 2)

Outcomes we’re aiming for:

  1. EHC Plans are high quality
  2. Quality of EHC Plans is reported to SEND Partnership Board so leaders have oversight
  3. The Annual Review process for children is timely, meets needs and is completed within the statutory timeline, and reported to the SEND Partnership Board
  4. Training for professionals and parents/carers to ensure a consistent understanding of SEND Support, EHC Needs Assessment and Annual Review processes and the roles and responsibilities of professionals involved

Theme 2: SEND outcomes and strategy (a combination of area of weakness 3 and 4)

Outcomes we’re aiming for:

  1. Leaders have greater understanding of the needs of children and young people with SEND in Central Bedfordshire through data and engagement
  2. There is an agreed set of outcomes for children and young people with SEND in Central Bedfordshire, which informs the development of the SEND Strategy. These are embedded within the partnership data dashboard, so that progress towards the outcomes can be used to inform future developments
  3. The area has a clear SEND strategy including prioritised joint commissioning intentions and identified service improvements to better meet the needs of children and young people in the area

Theme 3: Co-production

Outcomes we’re aiming for:

  1. SEND professionals across health, education and social care have a clear understanding of co-production, which is informed by the views of children, young people and their families
  2. Service leaders are successful in engaging with representative numbers and groups of children, young people, parents, and carers including those from ethnic minority groups
  3. Co-production is understood and used consistently across social care, health, and education services

Theme 4: Local Offer

Outcomes we’re aiming for:

  1. The Local Offer is co-produced as a partnership between the local authority, health, private and voluntary organisations, parents/carers and children and young people
  2. The Local Offer is fit for purpose in line with the Code of Practice and local needs
  3. Children, young people, and families report that they can access the right information at the right time and are able to make informed choices about the services and support they receive

Our WSOA, following engagement with parents, has now been approved by Ofsted and is published below.

View our Written Statement of Action.

View the Ofsted response letter.

We will be working hard to deliver on our WSoA over the next 18 months and we will provide termly updates on progress which will be published on the Local Offer website.

Work has already begun to progress the four areas of focus (called workstreams) for improvement. We will update the website and update stakeholders and parents signed up to receive our email updates each term. We will update on what we have done and what we are doing next.

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We are aware that when we were talking to parents and carers to understand their experiences and how the SEND system needs to improve, some of the issues were not included in the Ofsted areas of weakness and are therefore not included in the WSOA. This does not mean that we haven’t heard this feedback and want to address it. The WSoA though is only required to address the concerns set out by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Further details of these improvements will be added to the website as they develop. We will also keep stakeholders and parents up to date through our SEND email bulletins.

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