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NEW SEND Strategy for Luton

As part of our coproduction work with parents, carers and young people, a new SEND strategy has been developed for children and young people and their families in Luton and is now ready to share.

The SEND strategy has 6 priority areas for action which include:

Priority 1:  Early intervention and prevention

An early response to a concern and early identification and intervention are key to helping children and young people with SEND to reach their potential.  Early intervention services can impact a child’s developmental path and improve their outcomes.

We will improve our early intervention and prevention support by:

  • strengthening universal services that provide information and support to address identified concerns such as speech, language and communication
  • providing information and resources on the on-line Local Offer to support self-management and support for families and young carers
  • working with parents and carers so that they can reinforce learning strategies and techniques used in school and at home
  • supporting schools to have robust internal measures to identify those children who are not making adequate progress or are at risk of exclusion, youth offending and safeguarding, and to then work with other agencies to get the support they need
  • providing support from dedicated SEND Flying Start Family Workers to families through the Children’s Centres
  • embedding and fully implementing Talking Takes Off to ensure families can access support for their child’s speech, language and communication needs
  • ensuring the Early Help support families as part of the Complex Care panel at Edwin Lobo Centre.

Priority 2:  Developing our services to meet needs

Our local offer of services to support children, young people with SEND and their families, should meet their needs; services need to be transparent, easy to access and enable support to be put in place in the quickest time possible. 

We will further develop the range of support and services available to children and young people with SEND and their families:

  • by improving access and support from:
    • community physical and mental health services including Sensory OT and SaLT, Tier 2 Mental Health Services
    • new NDD pathway and the greater collaboration of CAMHS and the triage process etc
    • respite services, after school provision and leisure activities
    • travel assistance support
  • by enabling families to make best use of personal health budgets, personal budgets and direct payments to meet their child’s needs
  • supporting our local facilities, local clubs and organisations are all disability aware and DDA compliant
  • ensuring that information is available on the on-line Local Offer.

Priority 3:  High quality Educational Health and Care Plans

Improving the quality and timeliness of Educational Health Care Plans (EHCP) and their annual review, was a key priority in the Written Statement of Action.  Whilst we have made some good progress with this, there is further work that needs to be done.

We will do this by ensuring:

  • person-centred planning is fully embedded and the voice/aspirations of the child and the young person are clearly reflected in their plans. All plans will be outcomes focused and will be clear in the details of the needs and provision for children and young people
  • EHCPs and Annual Reviews are issued within the set timescales
  • learning from the EHCP quality audits are embedded across all services.

Priority 4:  Provisions and Place Planning

Key to improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND is ensuring they have the right educational provision that meets their needs.  We want to ensure that we have the appropriate number, range and quality of provision so that pupils:

  • can be supported wherever possible in mainstream and inclusive settings
  • in need of more specialist support will be placed in the most appropriate provision and wherever possible within Luton so that travel time is minimised and contact with local community networks maximised.

We will do this by:

  • establishing a new secondary special school
  • addressing gaps in provision for the children and young people who have:
    • Autistic Spectrum Disorder/Severe Learning Difficulties and challenging behaviour
    • Social Emotional Mental Health difficulties.

Priority 5:  Improved transition and opportunities for 16-25 year olds

In Luton, we want to promote high expectations and aspirations for our all our children and young people with SEND.  For our young people aged 16-25 years, this means that they have opportunities for further learning or employment, living independently, have choice and control over their lives and are participating in their community.

We will do this by:

  • embedding the Preparing for Adult Outcomes across all services for children of all ages
  • ongoing promotion of the importance of young people aged 14 years+ with Learning Disabilities having a health check
  • improving transition from children’s services to adult services by ensuring that we start planning transition when young people are 14 years of age so that support can be planned in advance.
  • increasing opportunities for ongoing training, supported internships, employment and volunteering
  • increasing opportunities for independent living
  • increasing the number of young people aged 19 years+ who are in positive destinations.

Priority 6:  Embedding co-production with children young people and their parents and carers

We are committed to working with children, young people and their families in a way that involves them from the beginning as equal partners.  We have developed a Working Together Charter in partnership with children, young people, their families and stakeholders across education, health and social care.  This sets out the principles of how we want to work together at both an individual and service/strategic level.

We will embed co-production by:

  • ensuring all organisations in Luton sign up to the seven principles in the Working Together Charter
  • ensuring that person-centred planning is integral to the development of all Educational Health and Care Plans
  • working with the new Parent Carer Forum when it becomes established to become a key strategic co-production partner
  • continuing to employ different ways to engage parents and carers who are not members of the Parent Carer Forum
  • implementing our new approach to engaging with children and young people.

We recognise that our priorities cannot be delivered by individual organisations alone and we are committed to working together in partnership to achieve our collective outcomes and vision for children and young people with SEND.

View our SEND strategy

For more information contact:

Stephanie Cash

Programme Director SEND Improvements

Children, Families and Education Directorate

Email: Stephanie.cash@luton.gov.uk