SEND Local Offer
Welcome to Liverpool’s SEND Local Offer
Here you will find lots of information about Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). The Local Offer helps you understand what services and support you can expect from a range of local partners, such as SENDIASS, Liverpool Parent and Carer Forum (LivPac) and ADDvanced Solutions.
We have also launched our SEND Strategy 2023-2026 - find out more by scrolling to the bottom of the page!
This site is for Liverpool’s children and young people, and their parents and carers. All professionals will also find the information useful when supporting our families
We are delighted to present our Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) strategy for 2023-2026, which has been developed in collaboration with parents and carers, children and young people, and our valued partners. We are grateful for your input, which has helped shape the strategic direction for the next 3 years.
The SEND strategy builds on the successes of the previous version; however, we recognise that there is still much work to be done to ensure that we meet the needs of children and young people with SEND. To make it easier for our partners and stakeholders to understand and engage with our plans, this strategy is shorter and more focused than our previous one.
The strategy is based on a comprehensive understanding of the local SEND landscape, including the latest SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and findings from Ofsted and CQC’s revisit inspection in May 2022. We have also conducted a review of therapies to ensure that we are providing the best possible support.
SEND Strategy - Printable PDF
SEND Strategy - Text-only, accessible version
The SEND Partnership Board would like to take this opportunity to give parents and carers an update on the current position of SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities) Services within the local area.
We are facing considerable challenges. There is a significant increase in the number of requests for EHC needs assessments and the current staffing structure is not sufficient to meet these demands. In line with other areas of the public sector, our teams are facing real challenges recruiting and retaining staff. This has meant that some families have experienced frequent changes of caseworkers, and parents have not always had responses within the expected timeframes. To address this, additional investment of more than £1m has been approved to recruit more caseworkers.
The lack of capacity within the teams has meant communication has not been consistent. The recruitment of new staff will improve this, and we are assessing options for an online portal, which will enable parents and carers to track the progress of an EHC assessment.
Many parents and carers are expressing a preference for their children to attend a special school. At the moment, there are insufficient special school places for children and young people with a range of needs, including provision for those with SEND who are academically able. The overwhelming majority of appeals to the tribunal concern school placements. In the past year we have developed a number of additional places in resourced provision in mainstream schools and special schools. The SEND sufficiency consultation is under way to enable additional specialist provision to be created.
Concerns have been raised that the council should have a specialist SEND solicitor to advise and ensure that we comply with the law in all aspects of work. This together with additional training for caseworkers is being explored.
There has also been challenge from parents regarding access to therapies. A review of the commissioning and organisation of therapeutic services is due to conclude, and the Partnership Board will act on its recommendations.
Some health services are experiencing challenges in waiting times since COVID and referrals have significantly increased in some areas. These include Autistic Disorder Spectrum (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnostic pathways. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have also seen a large rise in referrals. Additional investment has been made into all of these services and referrals are being managed to make improvements. In addition, Addvanced Solutions are providing support to families. Full details can be found on the Liverpool Local Offer.
Since COVID, the availability of taxi resources in the city cannot meet the demand for transport services, which has impacted on SEND transport. The council has put in place several measures to alleviate some of the pressures including: the option of a personal transport budget (mileage allowance); increasing the number of travel trainers from four to six; utilising the capacity of passenger transport minibuses; and employing temporary car drivers and hiring vehicles.
We understand from feedback, that some parents were frustrated by the outcome of the recent Ofsted and CQC revisit. The revisit was not an inspection of all aspects of SEN, but very focused on specific areas. The inspectorates were only able to report on the progress made against what was contained in the previous written statement of action.
Leaders are very clear that the outcome letter does not allow any room for complacency and apologise unreservedly to parents and carers for the impact of the above at the present time.
Liverpool is committed to meeting the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) living in the city. This Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) is a review of the current and future education, health and social care needs of children and young people between the ages of 0 to 25 with SEND which is reviewed every 3 years. JSNA Powerpoint - Covid updates
The JSNA incorporates local and national data, evidence and information from local partners. The JSNA has been co-produced with involvement of service users, parents/carers, children/young people and their representative organisations. The JSNA will help to better understand and identify the needs of our SEND community, and how we all work together to improve outcomes.