SEND Engagement

March 22, 2019

Essex County Council has embarked upon a programme of change for provision and services with the ambition to profoundly improve the outcomes and life experience of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Essex County Council education directorate are consulting with children, young people and their families, schools, settings, colleges and our partners and sharing information about the work we have undertaken to date and the continued challenges we face. They are seeking views on ECC’s vision and future strategy for SEND services in Essex.


The ECC education directorates vision is that regardless of age, stage, unique characteristics or circumstances our children and young people with SEND will have an education which provides:

  • A positive experience of learning;
  • A sense of belonging, value and worth;
  • Aspirational outcomes;
  • The right support at the right time;
  • Information and opportunities to enable informed decision making, choice and control;
  • Successful, planned transition at any point of movement, between phases or settings;
  • Thoughtful and thorough preparation for their future progression to a fulfilling adult life.

 The challenges facing the SEND system in Essex:

  • An increasing demand for specialist SEND provision in Essex.
  • A growing number of requests for Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).
  • Too many children not receiving a full-time education.
  • Increasing pressure on budgets.

ECC’s ambitions for a transformed SEND system in Essex:

  • They would like to work with schools, partners and families to think differently about how they can put support in place so that more children and young people remain within mainstream school placements.
  • Sufficient special school places in Essex for children and young people with complex and severe needs.
  • A SEND system which accurately identifies and assesses need at an earlier stage providing appropriate and impactful support without such a high level of dependence on the statutory system.
  • Services, provision and support delivered within budget.

The proposed strategy:

There are three ‘pillars’ underpinning our future strategy for SEND in Essex:

  1. Development of a school led SEND system; A different way of working that empowers schools, leaders and local areas to drive the changes that they want to see. It enables schools and settings to work collectively to support and challenge each other to provide the best possible education for children and young people with SEND in their local area, identifying good practice and areas for improvement within a family of schools.
  2. Essex’s SEND capital programme; Building new special schools with over 250 additional places; creating new places in some of our existing Essex special schools and establishing new boarding facilities in some Essex special schools to extend the support that we can offer to those children and young people with the most severe needs. ECC are growing the number of enhanced provisions in mainstream schools for children and young people with autism and social, emotional and mental health needs.
  3. The future design and ways of working of Essex’s SEND services; The next phase of the Education redesign, starting this spring, will see the redesign of the current Educational Psychology service, Specialist Teacher and Pre-School teams and the Statutory Assessment Service. The redesign shall enable a highly rated, effective and forward looking SEND workforce focused on achieving our vision for SEND in Essex.

How to get involved

You can read the full document and contribute your views through the following channels:

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