The following pages contain the content of the draft Southend Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Partnership Strategy 2022 to 2025. This is the version of the strategy that was consulted on.

Following the consultation, the parent carer forum, Southend SEND Independent Forum, worked closely with the SEND Partnership to review the wide range of consultation feedback to ensure that the key priorities and the proposed strategic actions reflected the needs of the SEND community.

The final draft Southend SEND Strategy 2022 to 2025 was developed and co-produced by the Southend SEND Partnership and Southend SEND Independent Forum and was presented to the various SEND Governance meetings, Council meetings and Cabinet for additional feedback and agreement over the autumn term 2022. Additional updates were made to the strategy in line with feedback.

The final version of the strategy will be published on this page soon.

Welcome to the 2022 to 2025 Southend Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Partnership Strategy for children and young people aged 0 to 25.

This SEND partnership strategy outlines our five key priorities, our aims, ambitions, and a set of values, all of which focus on improving the lived experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families.

Much has been done to improve services for children and young people with SEND since October 2018, when the Care and Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted carried out a Local Area joint inspection of the SEND offer in Southend. Four areas of weakness were identified, and the Southend SEND Partnership was formed to oversee the journey of improvement, so that children and young people with SEND in Southend and their families have better experiences.

In 2021 the progress and the difference it had made was recognised, but the need to keep on changing and improving remains.

The Strategy builds on existing work and shows what will be done to ensure the SEND offer continues to improve.

It is hoped that families recognise the priorities set out here as being important to them, and that over time children and young people with SEND and their families feel the impact of the work of the Southend SEND Partnership.

What are special educational needs and disabilities?

A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

This is a combined definition from the The Children and Families Act 2014 and the Equality Act 2010. These acts guide the responsibilities and statutory duties of the Southend SEND Partnership to ensure that children and young people have the support they need.

We asked some local children and young people "what does having SEND actually mean for you?".

They told us:

  • "People judge before getting to know you"
  • "Having special needs affects your confidence quite a lot"
  • "You feel the need to prove yourself"
  • "Having SEND is helpful in school as people understand and I have support to get involved"
  • "I am comfortable and happy at home or at school but outside in the community it is more difficult"

The Southend SEND Partnership is committed to working together to make things better for children and young people with SEND.