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Children and Young People: Special Educational Needs & Disability

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 (April 2016)
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 Guidance and advice relating to Special educational needs and disability (SEND)
Summary of most recent and all information published by National Government 

National Evidence

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)

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. 

Local Update
Wirral SEND Reports via LG Inform as


Local Map

Location of Wirral special schools

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. 

Special educational needs in England
This statistical release from the Department for Education provides analyses on the characteristics of pupils by their level of special educational needs (SEN) and type of SEN as well as SEN provision in schools. It is based on pupil-level data collected through the school census, general hospital school census and school-level annual school census (SLASC)

Local Offer

A key aspect of the guidance is the provision of a local offer

  • What is a 'Local Offer'?
    A Local Offer gives children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families information about what support services the local authority think will be available in their local area. Every local authority is responsible for writing a Local Offer and making sure it is available for everyone to see.

  • Who decides what is in the Local Offer?
    The new law says that every local authority must talk with children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families to find out what sort of support and services they need.

  • What is Wirral's Local Offer?
    Our Local Offer provides information on what services children, young people and their families can expect from a range of local agencies, including education, health and social care as well as information about other local, support services. Knowing what is out there gives you more choice and therefore more control over what support is right for your child. Wirral's Local Offer sets out what is available for your child in our area if they have special educational needs and or a disability.

Local Voice through Local Offer
Engagement with parents and carers of children/young people with SEND and the children and young people themselves is an ongoing process. Most recent examples are below...

  • SEND Youth Voice Conference: Pilgrim Street Arts Centre
    Summary Event Report (February 2019) 
    This report outlines the detail of the SEND Youth Voice Conference held at Pilgrim Street Arts Centre on Friday 25th January 2019. This annual event affords Wirral’s SEND Youth Voice group the opportunity to be listened to with a view to professionals learning and leading their services to better support and meet the needs of these young people. Last year’s event acted as a catalyst for significant change and, as such, the SEND youth voice group were encouraged to share their views on their most problematic area, namely Safety. Not coincidentally the Under 16 group and the Over 16’s both chose Safety as the nominated topic for discussion at this year’s event.

  • SEND Youth focused Partnerships Event: Pilgrim Street Arts Centre
    Summary Event Report (November 2018)
    This report outlines the detail of the SEND Youth Group Focused Partnerships Event held at Pilgrim Street Arts Centre on Friday 23rd November 2018. This event was a pilot for what is hoped will be an on-going facility and was in direct response to the highlighted needs at the SEND Youth Voice Conference in January this year. SEND young people report they don’t feel listened to and cannot access the employment opportunities they feel they should be able to and are more than capable of accessing. They wanted a vehicle to speak to providers and challenge the reasoning behind the barriers to paid employment and showcase their aspirations, skill set and experience whilst asking for leads to help them reach their career goals.

  • Issues for Children and Young People with SEND and their parents/carers that affect the child/young person in their care.(August 2017) 
    This is the second summary report of the ongoing engagement seeking to understand the issues affecting the lives of children, young people and their parents and carers. This report summarises the engagement work between December 2016 and August 2017. 

  • SEND Youth Workshop held at Pilgrim Street Arts Centre (October 2016) 
    The report summarises the issues and insight provided by children and young people (0-25) with special educational needs and/or disabilities, their parents and carers and colleagues on those issues they see as affecting their lives and the lives of the person in their care. 

  • Survey of issues parents/carers, of children with SEND, feel are affecting the child/young person in their care (September 2016) This survey was circulated by Children & Young Person Lead - Development Officer for Community Action Wirral via her bulletin and the parent carer networks. The results offer some insight into the issues, needs and opportunities considered most relevant at this time for parents, carers and children. 

Links to related content:


Other related SEND information

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).

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


Key information sources for you to consider: