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Two new contracts ensure continued support for local authorities

Published: 21/04/16

We’ve been successful in receiving funding from the Department for Education to continue two important programmes that support local authorities with the significant challenges they face to adapt to the SEND reforms that impact on children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Since the SEND Reforms came into force in 2014, the effects have been far-reaching and extremely challenging for local authorities and their capacity to make the necessary changes to existing systems and processes. Julie Pointer, the delivery manager for one of the programmes entitled Preparing for Adulthood (PfA), was excited to be able to continue the work, adding;

“The reforms are massive and include a shift in culture and a coming together of hearts and minds; we have enabled amazing progress within the challenges of the new SEND Code of Conduct - but we are not there yet. The continued programme gives us a great opportunity to build on what we’ve achieved so far and to drill down a bit deeper to showcase and share best practice.”

The new programme of support will be delivered across the regions and will be enhanced by working with nine specific demonstration sites across England that have made advances with the reforms, using their shared learning to showcase how the changes can improve outcomes for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families.

The announcement of funding came in the same week that we also secured additional funding to continue the influential SEND Reform Leadership Programme, designed to increase the capacity of local authorities to deliver SEND reforms.

Feedback from senior local authority managers has been excellent and has resulted in some significant developments in the delivery of the SEND reforms in their areas; these projects include the development of an internship to support young people with SEND into paid work as well as a project to include a group of children and young people in co-producing statutory changes to local services. One participant added that the learning from the course was “essential for our future effectiveness as local authorities”.

Applications for the second cohort for the SEND Reform Leadership Programmes are now open and information can be found here

Both programmes are delivered as part of a wider consortium entitled Delivering Better Outcomes Together (DBOT), a partnership between Mott Macdonald, NDTi and the Council for Disabled Children.

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