A vital platform to share information about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) performance across Central Bedfordshire should be operational around the end of the year, a meeting heard.
The SEND partnership data dashboard is based around local needs and uses relevant information to determine current priorities, Central Bedfordshire Council’s children’s services overview and scrutiny committee was told.
“A SEND improvement roadmap has been developed through the work of a task group with a multi-agency focus,” said head of partnerships, community engagement and youth services Peter Fraser.
“There are three key strands to that:
- The written statement of action describing the improvement action with local partners
- The Schools for the Future programme investing in CBC’s educational landscape
- The transformation programme, which sets out some of the work not in the written statement of action
“The roadmap is CBC’s current SEND strategy, with three long-term strategic documents being developed.
“These are the SEND joint strategic needs assessment, the long-term SEND strategy and the multi-agency data dashboard which will evolve over time.
“The roadmap and the data dashboard will ensure decisions are based on better evidence and will be intelligence led.
“The outcomes framework, the data dashboard and the SEND strategy will determine our commissioning objectives, and enable us to develop our practice and shape future provision of the service.”
The local authority and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group were required to produce a joint written statement of action following a critical Ofsted/Care Quality Commission inspection.
This set out how the six areas of weakness identified would be addressed.
“Work has been undertaken under four themes of co-production, quality and oversight of the education, health and care plans (EHCPs), the SEND strategy and outcomes, and the local offer,” added Mr Fraser.
“Progress on that is monitored by the SEND partnership board and regular monitoring visits by the Department for Education.
“A key strand of this is to make sure we apply the same rigour for school place planning to the provision of places for children and young people with SEND.”
Performance improvement manager Andy Capjon said: “The idea is for senior management across Central Bedfordshire to be informed as to what’s happening across the wider partnership about outcomes for children.”
He referred to a complex process with NHS digital to bring together the local authority’s information and NHS data.
“We’re moving all our data held on a myriad of spreadsheets on to our social care database, which will make linking that much easier.
“Also all the ancillary partners are on that database. Everyone will have a much fuller and bigger picture for each child.
“We’ve gone from a highly complicated structure which we’re simplifying into something meaningful and easy to understand.
“We’re talking with all the partners, particularly the parent carer forum, and ensuring we’ve got the right key measures which tell the story of whether children are achieving their outcomes or not.
“And we’re agreeing the process of governance for making any changes to the data.
“It will be produced and published once a term, and taken to the SEND partnership board, and the information is shared across all the agencies.
“The first proper dashboard will be at the end of the first term of the next school year, December or January time.”