Our Success and Client FeedbackWe have worked alongside Local Authorities nationally, and successfully supported improvements and changes in their organisations and communities. Read the endorsements and client feedback below to hear how have positively impacted commissioners, users, and providers of SEND services.
SEND4Change were the catalyst for positive reform in Bury. Chris and Alison steered difficult discussions between partners in the right direction, guiding everyone towards a ‘working together’ model. This included partners from Education, Health, Social Care, Schools, Governors, Third Parties, Young People and Parent/Carers. Relationships between partners in Bury would not be in such a positive place, if it weren’t for the intervention and direction from Chris and Alison. As well as being genuinely lovely people, they are thoroughly good at their job. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending SEND4Change.
Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, working with its Clinical Commissioning Group, commissioned SEND4Change to complete a review of arrangements for children and young people with SEND. The timing, coming shortly after an Ofsted/CQC local area inspection, enabled the focus of the review to be informed by recommendations from that inspection. SEND4Change were instrumental in bringing about positive change, through a dynamic, inclusive process and supportive dialogue with all local partners including parents who were fully involved in the development of the resulting new SEND strategy. Ofsted have subsequently recognised the rapid improvements that have been put in place in Bury and the contribution that SEND4Change has made. Bury Council recognises the skill, knowledge and experience that SEND4Change brought to a very challenging situation. SEND4Change have had a very significant and helpful impact on our thinking and planning for a better future. They are very skilled practitioners and we are most definitely in a better place as a result of their involvement.
“Chris and Alison arrived in Birmingham to find multiple challenges in the SEN world. We are a very large, diverse city with a very young population. We have a complex landscape of schools and providers, and commission SEN provision across the city and beyond. The political leaders decided a root and branch review of the city’s approach to SEND was needed, and so they set up an inclusion commission to oversee the work. Chris and Alison have led the review working on 6 workstreams and consulting with stakeholders right across the piece. They have brought a clarity and professionalism to the process, inspiring trust and confidence amongst schools and officers. They have synthesised and summarised effectively ensuring everyone is heard and that ultimately the ‘golden threads’ shine through. We are now ready to feed back the results of the review to the commission and look forward to developing a new holistic approach for SEND. SEND4Change have been pivotal in helping us focus and creating confidence that we can develop our new approach right across the 0-25 age range.”
SEND4Change facilitated a comprehensive review of SEN arrangements in order that the local authority could develop a new SEN strategy. This involved an analysis of available data and information, facilitation of a series of work streams which engaged a variety of stakeholders and which achieved a consensus amongst participants, production of a comprehensive report describing the outcomes from the review, and providing recommendations for a new SEN strategy and a handover to Local Authority Officers and the City Council’s SEN Commission Board.
I worked together with SEND4Change as a link for the Local Authority to develop a fair and transparent system and a local decision making model in partnership with schools to allocate funds from the High Needs Block for those Children and Young People on SEN Support – often referred to as ‘Top-Up’. The work included meetings with Senior Leaders from the Local Authority, analysis of LA SEND expenditure, chairing meetings with a headteacher group writing work plans for the project, reviewing the effectiveness of SEND Team, developing criteria by areas of need, and developing the SEND Funding Pathway together with the pro forma. This work also included setting, modelling and fronting the funding pilot with schools and LA leaders. Then finally training for LA staff on the proposed funding model. Chris and Alison have a long experience on SEND. Both very good at listening, professional, ‘unshockable’, and really easy to work with. The most amazing thing when working with Chris and Alison was simply the quality of their work, and their response and turnaround of any work is very quick. The SEND Funding Pilot was successful and after agreement from the Cabinet the SEND funding Pathway – structure, process and procedure is now being implemented. I would work with Chris and Alison anytime, anywhere.
High Needs Funding arrangements SEND4Change was asked to facilitate the development and introduction of a new system of devolved SEN funding in the city. SEND4Change helped to establish collaborations of schools in localities across the city which enabled schools to make local decisions about local need. The system has been successfully introduced.
SEND4Change carried out a special school sufficiency exercise, which identified the local authority’s special school capacity requirements until 2025. An analysis of data trends and opportunities resulted in a report which predicted a shortfall of the type of provision required. SEND4Change facilitated a dialogue with potential providers to ensure that the shortfall in provision could be met locally and cost effectively.
We are very grateful to SEND4Change for completing this important piece of work. Chris and Alison were able to respond to our needs in an efficient, timely and highly professional manner. The final report was a well written document which effectively articulated the relevant data, the drivers for change and requirements for further development of our special school provision . The exercise involved consultation with key stakeholders and this was carried out with humour, enthusiasm and a genuine collaborative approach which ensured stakeholder sign up and commitment to change. The exercise was delivered with pace and skill and helped us to develop and evolve our thinking. The outcomes included in the final report have been used to shape a clear set of options and recommendations which have directly influenced and improved our decision making about future developments for special schools in Waltham Forest. The consultants have a wealth of knowledge and experience in SEN and disability and I am happy to endorse them as a specialist team in this area and would readily engage their services again.
SEND4Change has worked with the SEN team in Rotherham on a number of projects. SEND4Change has provided advice and guidance for newly appointed senior SEN officers, as well as managing a number of specific projects. These include the development of Social, Emotional, and Mental Health partnerships aimed at reducing the likelihood of young people being permanently excluded. Secondary schools have now developed new and innovative approaches to alternative provision and collaborative working which prevents young people becoming disengaged from learning.
SEND4Change carried out a review of speech and language therapy in order to inform the joint commissioning of a new SALT service. SEND4Change facilitated a dialogue with parents, schools and therapists which resulted in a series of recommendations for commissioners. The workshops that SEND4Change organised and held with school colleagues, parents and therapists in seeking to co-produce a revised speech and language commissioning specification were positively received. As a result the Local Authority was able to revise its commissioning arrangements to ensure a new service delivery model for children and young people attending schools in Redbridge.
SEND4change have investigated a number of complaints on behalf of Local Authorities and Education Trust Boards. The complaints were fully investigated and remedies identified. The investigations were conducted in confidence, with rigour and in a timely a manner resulting in a series of recommendations which have been acted upon by Local Authorities and Education Trust Boards.