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Nottingham City Strategy for improving outcomes for Children & Young People with SEND


“Our vision is a city where every child and young person can enjoy their childhood in a warm and supporting environment, free from poverty and safe from harm; a city where every child grows up to achieve their full potential.”.

(Nottingham City Children’s and Young People’s Plan, 2016-2020, Nottingham Children’s Partnership)


Nottingham City is committed to:

  • the co-production of services with families and listening to the voices of children and young people
  • partnership working across all agencies to promote health, care and education needs of children, young people and their families


The following principles underpin the Nottingham City SEND Strategy:

  • Early identification: needs will be identified early and support provided early, to help children and young people in Nottingham have the best possible start in life and to achieve their potential;
  • Joined up working with education, health, social care and other partners: services will work together with families to help children and young people to achieve the best possible outcomes;
  • Person centred planning: children and young people and their parents will be actively involved in planning and decision making, both at an individual and strategic level, and have more choice and control over the support they get;
  • High expectations: children, young people and their parents will be supported to have high aspirations by not only thinking about what is possible now but thinking creatively about what could be possible in the future;
  • High quality inclusive provision: every child/young person will have access to a good or outstanding school, close to home; friendships and involvement in community activities; access to appropriate health and care support
  • Successfully preparing for adulthood: children and young people will be effectively supported to prepare for adulthood: employment, independent living, good health and joining in with their community

Key facts:

In 2020 - 21

  • 919 children and young people in mainstream provision receive targeted high needs funding (top up funding). This includes early years providers, (private voluntary independent settings), schools and schools sixth forms, but excludes further education and training providers.
  • Young people with SEND attending colleges and other training providers are supported through the high needs funding block.
  • 1281 children and young people 0-25 have an Education, Health and Care plan
  • 30 pupils are in focus provision (special provision within mainstream school)
  • 26 pupils are placed in independent/non-maintained special schools for educational purposes
  • 721 are in specialist schools and specialist Further Education provision

Sourced January 2021, Census data

What do we do well?

  • All our special schools have been judged good or outstanding by Ofsted
  • 93% of Ofsted inspections of early years settings and mainstream schools, have reported that provision/progress for pupils with SEND is good or better
  • Outcomes for children with SEND in the early years are improving
  • At Key stage 2 the proportion of pupils with SEN Support achieving the expected standard or higher is in line with national expectations
  • At KS5, the proportion of leavers on SEN support who were in sustained education, employment and training is increasing and is in line with national figures
  • 93.5% of special school leavers have sustained education, employment or training destinations in 2017
  • Nottingham City are one of the top performing LAs nationally for the completion of education, health and care plans – over 80% within government timescales
  • Well-established processes are in place to allocate funding to pupils at SEN Support
  • The Disabled Children’s Service’s Short Breaks, Pathways 1 and 2 model provides a graduated response to families
  • Children’s Continuing Care Service provides specialist assessment and offers a multi-agency package of care to support families of children and young people with complex health needs
  • Parents and carers work with the local authority in planning and decision making at a city wide, strategic level and also operationally, supporting the implementation of the strategic decisions made
  • At an individual level, person centred approaches ensure involvement of children, young people and their families in planning and decision making
  • One co-ordinated team supports the education, health and care personal budget offer

What do we want to do better?

  • Improve outcomes for young people with SEND at KS4 and KS5
  • Improve attendance and reduce exclusions including those for pupils with SEND
  • Support all schools/settings to be inclusive through sharing clear expectations of a graduated approach and through increased access to specialist training
  • Further refine the funding processes to schools and settings so that a responsive and equitable process ensures that interventions are in place as soon as possible following identification
  • Ensure effective transition processes are in place for all pupils with significant needs at key points of transition
  • Enable earlier identification and effective intervention to reduce numbers of pupils with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH)
  • Support more consistent diagnosis of children with autism in Nottingham City, in line with NICE guidelines, in order to ensure appropriate interventions and provision are in place
  • Improve information sharing, communication with parents and joint working across agencies, including the on-going development and review of the Local Offer
  • Extend support to parents in the early years
  • Embed co-production with families consistently across all elements of decision making
  • In preparing for adulthood, raise aspirations and make provision for young people to move onto paid employment or other meaningful activities
  • Ensure a continuum of good/outstanding provision for children and young people with SEND to reflect changing demand

What do our parents and carers say is needed?

  • Reduction in exclusions for children and young people with SEND
  • Whole school/setting training for staff, to support effective inclusion of children and young people with SEND
  • Better communication between settings, services and families
  • Access to therapeutic services in a timely way, particularly speech and language therapy
  • Additional resources for mainstream schools, where this is family preference, to meet children’s needs
  • Sharing of good practice between schools
  • Increased earlier intervention
  • An assessment of the impact of reduced service provision across all agencies, including the impact on earlier intervention where agencies have to charge for service provision

What do our young people say?

  • The majority of young people report that they feel valued
  • They value the educational support offered to them in mainstream and specialist settings and are on track to achieve their goals
  • They have aspirations for employment in adulthood and are positive about opportunities and support to prepare for this
  • They want to be included in the social life of their community as well as receiving support for learning
  • They like strategies to be put in place so that other young people can understand them better (such as learning sign language)
  • They want good communication with schools and services and like to be involved in decision making – in their own reviews and through schools councils for example

Priority actions for 2018-2023


The following priorities have been identified following consultation with children and young people, their families, schools and settings, social care and health providers:

  1. Supporting all schools and settings to be inclusive
  2. Provision of support to families in the early years
  3. Earlier identification and provision of evidence based intervention for pupils with SEMH as primary need
  4. Developing provision to ensure a continuum of good/outstanding provision for children and young people with SEND to reflect changing demand
  5. Making transition easier for pupils with SEND
  6. Promoting co-production with children, young people and their families
  7. Preparing young people for adulthood
  8. Improving links to promote more effective information sharing and support from all agencies

A document outlining the key strategic priorities supports the implementation of this strategy.

A detailed action plan will be developed for each year of the strategy implementation.



How will we make sure changes happen and that the outcomes are monitored and evaluated?

The SEND Accountability Board will lead on the implementation of the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Strategy 2018 – 2023. It will drive continuous improvement and ensure that all agencies work together to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND.

The board will:

• ensure that the views of children and young people and their parents/carers inform the work of the Board and its action plan.

• identify and drive forward the strategic priorities for SEND provision in Nottingham City for children and young people aged 0-25 through a partnership approach

Strategic leaders will update the accountability board, which will in turn be responsible to the Children’s Partnership Board, the Safeguarding Board and the Health and Well-Being Board

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