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Hundreds turn out to show their support for new SEND strategy

Specialist SEND support services

27 September 2023

A group of people standing outside the iCon Centre

Hundreds of people involved in co-producing a new strategy to improve outcomes for West Northamptonshire children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have gathered to mark its launch this week.

More than 500 parents, carers, health and education professionals attended the two events at Daventry’s iCon Centre yesterday (Tuesday, 26 September), which included a presentation, a series of workshops and information sessions alongside a marketplace of stalls and displays from a range of local organisations providing support for SEND families.

The SEND and Alternative Provision Strategy sets out the key priorities towards ensuring the West Northamptonshire Partnership better meets the needs of families over the next three years as the partnership continues to tackle the challenges across the system against an ever increasing demand. It was co-produced with the involvement of over 800 people who attended over 20 engagement sessions providing over 3,000 pieces of feedback.

This week’s launch was planned and co-delivered by students from Creating Tomorrow College, which recently opened its second campus and first in West Northants at the iCon Centre, to provide specialist education for young adults with SEND.

I would like to thank everyone who came along to support the event or was involved in shaping the new strategy at the co-production sessions which took place. It has been a real pleasure to work with Creating Tomorrow College students who organised the launch to make it such a successful and informative day for everyone who came along.

We recognise that our SEND offer in West Northants has not been good enough and has needed to change and although there is a lot to do, with parents, carers, health and education professionals all working together as part of this new strategy we are determined to succeed and make positive change happen – alone we can do so little but together we can do so much.
Cllr Fiona Baker, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Children Families, Education and Skills
Working in partnership is key to success for our students and we are really pleased that West Northamptonshire SEND Partnership has used the abilities of our children so effectively, to help plan and deliver this event.Gareth Ivett, Principal of Creating Tomorrow College

About the West Northants SEND and AP Strategy:

Key priorities of the Strategy include:

  • Accessibility – ensuring admission for specialist schools and units is based on need and location, improving accessibility of transport, developing an effective Local Offer and being clearer in how partners communicate with families
  • Resources – ensuring there are enough high-quality SEND services and places, which are jointly planned and delivered so children and young people can stay within their local communities wherever possible, using funding efficiently and making this process transparent.
  • Identification and Assessment – using the SEND Ranges to ensure there is a consistent approach, continuously improving the timeliness of assessments and reviews, and that partners provide joined-up support so that children and young people can effectively transition between settings and services.
  • Training – providing training so that children and young people receive the right support, in the right place and at the right time within their inclusive communities and developing a shared understanding of SEND across all partners so they can identify needs early
  • Alternative Provision – co-producing and putting in place an Alternative Provision (AP) Strategy and to reduce the number of suspensions and permanent exclusions
  • Preparation for Adulthood - providing training so all partners effectively support young people prepare for adulthood from the earliest stages, ensuring there is clear information about services and support as well as developing and delivering supported internships, traineeships and apprenticeships.

The strategy will be underpinned by a detailed action plan also being developed with partners, which the SEND Improvement Board will be responsible for ensuring delivery and holding partners to account.

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