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Summary of progress on our written statement of action (WSOA)

This is a summary of the things we've done to deliver the written statement of action (WSOA) for Dorset around special educational needs and disability (SEND).

How we're working together

We have a group called the SEND Delivery Board who continue to meet regularly. This group makes sure we make progress against the WSOA.

The board includes people who represent a wide range of stakeholders including:

  • health services
  • adult services
  • children’s services local authority officers
  • parent representatives
  • schools

The board is chaired by one of our local elected members and holds people to account for progress.

The WSOA is now mostly complete, or on time where timescales are longer than a year.

There are 4 high priorities that we needed to work on as part of the WSOA. Here are updates against each of these.

High priority 1

Development of an education, health and care joint strategy for SEND

We have:

  • created the SEND strategy; this tells you about our commitments to improving the SEND service we offer. Read a summary of our SEND strategy or an easy read version
  • made a 3 year action plan; this provides step-by-step actions for how we're going to deliver the strategy. We track progress on a regular basis and feed back to the SEND delivery board
  • put a performance framework in place to track data on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis; this is to see the progress we're making
  • produced a Development and Behaviour Pathway. This is to make sure that early support is provided. We've held a launch event and we're now implementing a communication plan
  • put a full time Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) in place to help drive improvements

High priority 2

Making sure assessments, conversions and reviews of children and young people’s education, health and care needs (EHC) assessments and plans are completed within the statutory timescale of 20 weeks

We have:

  • successfully converted all old statements into EHC plans
  • been working to improve the time it takes for us to complete EHC plans and 90% are now completed within 20 weeks, as of November 2018
  • created a new role to improve the quality of EHC plans; part of this role is to look at the forms and letters we use to request, review and exchange information between professionals
  • put a Joint Operational Agreement in place for children and young people with SEND aged 0 to 25 years across Dorset. It's designed to support NHS organisations and health professionals across Dorset, as well as local authority partners, to understand their statutory duties in relation to SEND. This agreement is currently being embedded with regular monitoring taking place

We're also developing prototypes to improve our communication with parents and carers.

High priority 3

Involving children, young people and their families in developing our provision and services

These are the ways we've involved children, young people and families:

  • the SEND Partnerships and Co-production Manager is a role we have specifically aimed at developing the way we involve children, young people and families
  • we have developed a draft Participation and Engagement Strategy which is currently out for comment. This will help improve participation and engagement further
  • we have a School Improvement Advisor who works with schools on SEND. The advisor uses a self-evaluation tool with schools to help improve provision around SEND
  • we've rebranded our SEND Local Offer; this was developed with children, young people and families
  • we continue to have ways of giving feedback using our on-line feedback form and through face to face events
  • we're developing a SEND young people’s forum
  • we're also developing a training programme for young people with SEND
  • we're creating a new e-bulletin to keep children, young people and families informed
  • we've delivered workshops for professionals about how they can ensure the participation and co-production of young people with SEND

High priority 4

Improving the monitoring and quality assurance

These are the ways we make sure we provide a good service:

  • we have a new quality assurance officer who is looking at the way we communicate to children young people and families, CYP’s voice, key documents and forms, annual reviews and accessible guides to EHCPs. Currently the focus is on key documents and forms. We've drafted a new form and will trial it in December 2018
  • we've put together a draft training framework and developed resources to support the skills of the workforce. This is to help make sure we have consistent quality. This has had contributions from Dorset Council local authority (LA) including schools, parents and carers, Bournemouth and Poole LAs and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
  • we've developed an Alternative Provision (AP) Framework: this is for provision other than mainstream schools. The framework makes sure that AP which is commissioned has been evaluated and moderated for quality
  • we've introduced an improved policy and form for medical referrals. We've drafted a similar SEND referral process; this is to improve the quality of information for EHC plans
  • we have a data officer in place who's working on improvements to the quality of information contained within the local authority’s database to help improve quality
  • we have a SEND Advisor working with special education coordinators (SENCOs) to help improve the quality of information from schools
  • we're starting to use an audit tool across Dorset to ensure the quality of EHCPs

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