Agenda item

SEND Joint Commissioning Strategy, SEMH Strategy and SEND Sufficiency


Report by Jenny Lingrell, Assistant Director, Commissioning, Performance and Quality     


Recommendation:-  To receive an update presentation and note the progress.


Further to Minute No. 42 of the previous meeting held on 26th June, 2020, Jenny Lingrell, Assistant Director, Commissioning, Performance and Inclusion, gave a presentation, using Powerpoint, on progress of the Rotherham Social, Emotional & Mental Health Strategy, SEND Sufficiency and SEND Joint Commissioning, a copy of which would be circulated to all Schools’ Forum Members after the meeting.


The presentation drew specific focus to:-


·              Within the Rotherham Social, Emotional & Mental Health Strategy:-


·              Sufficiency: develop local education provision that responds to need – this will include flexible and specialist provision:-


             Maltby Hilltop, Waverley, Milton Special, Wales High, Brinsworth and Thomas Rotherham College project developments.


             Developing ‘turnaround provision’ in partnership with the Willow Tree Trust and Wickersley Partnership Trust.


             Phase one: pilot with small number of children with identified need within the Trust and Phase two: development of borough-wide offer with clear pathways and governance and would align with the Isos findings and recommendations and include joint work with the DfE to meet the guidance for the statutory processes.


·              Seamless Pathways: ensure that pathways to support are connected and aligned and develop a clear behaviour pathway that includes responses to attachment and trauma:-


Phase one: implementation of the mental health trailblazer

Phase two: pathway review


              Refreshed neuro-developmental pathway will be launched before end September.

              Commencing review of psychological therapies pathway.

              Aligning with Covid-19 responses and learning.


The Wellbeing for Education Return project had two elements; anew national training package providing guidance and resources for education staff on responding to the impact of Covid-19 on the wellbeing of their students and pupils and funding to local authorities to help put local experts in place to work with partners to adapt this training, deliver it to nominated staff in education settings, and provide ongoing advice and support until March 2021


This does not replace the long-term strategy to introduce new mental health support teams, but developed training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges and tested approaches to delivering four week waiting times for access to NHS mental health support.

The Anna Freud Link Programme aimed to bring together education and mental health professionals so that more children and young people got the help and support they needed, when they needed it.  Online workshops would be facilitated by Anna Freud Centre and participants would need to complete a self-study module prior to attending the workshop and specific requirements for each cohort.


The Ambition aligned to Rotherham’s SEMH Strategy as it built confidence and shared understanding across the workforce, identified and met need early, managed capacity across the system, aligned pathways, avoided duplication, confusion and frustration.


·              Partnerships: develop and sustain robust inclusion partnerships that enable schools to meet need through a collective approach to responding to the needs of individual children.


·              Evidence-Based Approaches: ensure that the local authority offer (from Early Help and Inclusion services) is underpinned by evidence-based approaches and aligned with clear pathways.


Identifying the aims and approach to the project.


The guiding principles for the Isos Project.


Continuum of primary inclusion support in Rotherham already starting to be developed through discussions to date and the associated timescales.


·              Workforce: develop a robust training and support, enabling practitioners to feel confident in responding to the needs of children and young people with SEMH need.  This would involve:-


              Completing a full audit of the current offer of training and workforce and development.

              Co-producing with stakeholders a comprehensive training offer to support the workforce and families to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND.

              Ensuring that the recommended models are evidence-based or evidence-informed.

              Making recommendations of where training currently delivered by in-house providers across the system should continue to be commissioned, and where it should be potentially de-commissioned.

              Ensuring that the offer is clear and that there is no duplication across the system.

              Researching and recommend options for commissioning external providers of training where this offers high quality and represents value for money.

              Designing a web-based interface that will enable the children’s workforce to identify which training will meet their needs, and support them to access this training. 

              Identifying any gaps, and commission/procure training to meet these needs.

              Embed the four cornerstones of co-production into the approach.


Analysis of 14 training providers across Rotherham identified 135 potential training and CPD opportunities (including 7 online).


Analysis by category of SEND need, conclusions and recommendations.


·              Rotherham SEND Joint Commissioning Strategy:-


        Joint work between Rotherham CCG, The Rotherham Foundation Trust and Special Schools to develop Core Competencies Framework and Documented Roles and Responsibilities.

        Roll-out the Health Offer approach across all community health services, so as to provide clarity to schools and wider partners as to health roles and responsibilities.

        Develop joint commissioning arrangements for Home Care arrangements Re-commission short-breaks, identifying opportunities for alignment between the Local Authority and Rotherham CCG. Review Joint Equipment Panel.

        Develop clear joint pathways of support for children and young people who are accessing specialist school places (SEND Education Sufficiency Strategy) Develop an SEN Support Toolkit.

        Review the offer of speech and language to ensure that it is targeted appropriately at need.

        Develop pathways to support the transition for children and young people with long-term conditions.


The Forum were advised that Isos Partnership, engaged to lead a review of Alternative Provision and Partnerships in Rotherham, had been working on the continuum of inclusion support and AP (with a clear understanding of the roles and pathways), the decision-making processes and responsibility for pupils requiring inclusion support and AP; and the funding system, ensuring this supported strategic priorities and the day-to-day operation of inclusion support and AP.  It was suggested that the Isos Partnership be invited to the meeting in January, 2021 and present their findings.


Forum Members found the presentation very informative and welcomed the approach being taken forward.  An update on progress in due course was welcomed.  The whole school understanding of the issues was invaluable.


Discussion ensued on the mandatory training of newly and recently qualified teaching staff and how this could be explored further and strengthened. 


Agreed:-  (1)  That Jenny Lingrell be thanked for her informative presentation.


(2)  That the presentation slides be circulated to Forum Members after the meeting for information.

ACTION:-  Clerk