Children and Young People: Special Educational Needs & Disability

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The 2015 Code of Practice described its vision for children with special educational needs and disabilities and that was seen is the same as for all children and young people – that they achieve well in their early years, at school and in college, and lead happy and fulfilled lives. This new Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice was seen as playing a vital role in underpinning the major reform programme. 

For children and young people this meant that their special educational needs and disabilities would be picked up at the earliest point with support routinely put in place quickly, and their parents will know what services they can reasonably expect to be provided. Children and young people and their parents or carers will be fully involved in decisions about their support and what they want to achieve. Importantly, the aspirations for children and young people will be raised through an increased focus on life outcomes, including employment and greater independence.

The content below sets out to provide an ever developing overview of national and local issues and needs for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Please come back periodically to see what's new or sign up to our bulletin to keep up to date.

National Guidance

Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years 
Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities (Jan 2015)

The Code of Practice provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations and applies to England. It relates to children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabled children and young people. A ‘young person’ in this context is a person over compulsory school age and under 25. Compulsory school age ends on the last Friday of June in the academic year in which they become 16. For ease of reference, young people are referred to in this Code of Practice as ‘over 16’

Local area SEND inspection: framework

Local area SEND inspection: framework
This web page and documents describe how Ofsted will inspect local areas to see how effectively they fulfil their responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This framework sets out the inspection principles of local area inspections and should be read alongside the guidance handbook for inspectors. The framework for the inspection of local areas’ effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (Framework for inspecting local areas in England under section 20 of the Children Act 2004) can also be accessed.

National context and content
  • National Guidance and advice relating to Special educational needs and disability (SEND)
    Summary of most recent and all information published by National Government 

  • Developing and sustaining an effective local SEND system: A practical guide for councils and partners (November 2018) This report (by Local Government Association) has been written as a concise, practical summary of good practice in developing and sustaining an effective local SEND system.

  • Statements of SEN and EHC plans: England(DfE, May 2016)
    Statistics and analysis on statements of special educational needs (SEN) and education, health and care (EHC) plans in England.

  • SEN: analysis and summary of data sources (DfE, May 2016)
    Analysis and links to data sources on children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) in England.

  • Special educational needs and their links to poverty (February 2016)
    This research explores why the links between special educational needs and disability (SEND) and poverty are so strong. This report shows that poverty is both a cause and an effect of SEND and makes a series of recommendations, including:

    • Policy-makers and school and early years leaders should prioritise SEND.

    • Staff in schools and early years settings should be trained to identify needs so that they can be spotted early and over-identification and under-identification are reduced.

    • Targeted funding for pupils with SEND who are at risk of exclusion should be provided so that schools can support them before they are excluded.

    • Document Downloads and Related content

Local area SEND inspections: information for families

Local area SEND inspections: information for families
This government web page provides information for families about inspections of local area services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Local Evidence

JSNA plays a key role in the understanding the needs of our local residents, in this case children and young people with a special education need, so partners can make informed commissioning decisions based on the ever changing local evidence. The illustration below highlights this inter-relationship.

Taken from Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (Section 3.20, p.43)

England Data
Local Data
Local Map

Location of Wirral special schools

Review of LGInform performance

Disabilities, Complex Needs and Special Educational Needs: Review of LGInform performance
These short reports set out to highlight those key performance indicators, presented by LGInform reports, were Wirral would be considered an ‘outlier’ for that performance. This information can aide partners, and commissioners of local SEND and other related disability services alike, to direct provision and plan new approaches. 

Liverpool City Region

Liverpool City Region - Children and Young People's Transformation Programme 

They recently produced this 'Case for Change: Health Inequalities' report on the key issues and aspects affecting our children and young people across the sub-region.

Previous SEND JSNA

Wirral JSNA SEND Section (September 2016)
We have collated our local JSNA SEND section that seeks to gather together information to inform our local story of need. Our JSNA is an iterative process and as such we will continue to provide later versions as colleagues in Wirral's SEND Team consider and produce updated content. 

Currently under review - new content Spring/Summer 2022

Local Offer

SENDLO brings together information about the local services and support available across education, health and social care for families with children and young people aged 0 to 25, who have special educational needs and/ or disabilities.