SEND Futures Richmond is the name for the ongoing work to transform the way in which support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is provided in Richmond.
A Local Area SEND Inspection in Richmond upon Thames was completed by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June 2021. The inspection provided an independent evaluation of how well organisations in Richmond upon Thames carry out their statutory duties in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
The inspection identified a number of strengths and areas for development or improvement.
A Written Statement of Action (WSOA) pdf has been published and was deemed fit for purpose by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on 22 February.
At their meeting on Monday 10 May 2021, Richmond Council's Education and Children's Services Committee endorsed the updated SEND Futures Plan as a working document.
March 2021 - seeking your comments on a draft updated SEND Futures Plan in Richmond
This transformation programme, our SEND Futures Plan, sets out how we will work with children, young people and their families to improve our services on a continuous basis, within the financial resources available to us. This plan is an updated version of the SEND Futures Plan originally agreed by the Council in July 2019. We are inviting comment and feedback on the draft updated plan by 19 April. You can do this by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some key differences between this version of the plan and the original are:
Since July 2019, considerable progress has been made with increasing the quality of several aspects of Richmond’s SEND system, and in more fully implementing the SEND Reforms contained within the Children’s and Families Act 2014. This updated plan takes these changes into account, focuses on those areas that have not made as much progress and that require additional work, and sets new targets to maintain the momentum of improvement.
The financial resources provided for SEND services by the Government remain insufficient to provide appropriate and effective support to children and young people with SEND in Richmond and for the Council to meet its statutory duties. Since July 2019 the overspend on Richmond’s Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) has continued to grow. This new plan provides an update on the actions being taken to bring expenditure more in line with the resources available.
Recommendations made by the “SEND Peer Challenge” commissioned through the Local Government Association and carried out in September and October 2019 have informed the content of this updated plan. Matters relating to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Report published in January 2020 and the resulting action plan finalised in November 2020, are also included. The plan represents a single point of reference for what were previously three strands of work.
Since the original Plan, Parliament’s Education Committee’s Special educational needs and disabilities inquiry and the National Audit Office’s report on "Support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in England" have been published. A national major review into support for children with special educational needs has also been undertaken (though not yet published). There is consensus that the changes required will take longer time to implement and that additional money needs to be provided by the government to local authorities for them to meet their statutory duties. For this reason the new plan adopts a five year horizon rather than the previous three, and discussions relating to funding continue with the Department for Education. Whilst the recent increases in Richmond’s High Needs Block allocations are extremely welcome, the allocation remains significantly below the actual cost of Richmond delivering its statutory duties.
At their meeting on 25 July 2019, Richmond Council's Education and Children's Services Committee endorsed the updated SEND Futures Plan as a working document.
The Plan can be viewed here: Richmond SEND Futures Transformation Plan 2019 (pdf)
An easy read version of the plan can be viewed here: Richmond SEND Futures Transformation Plan 2019 Easy Read version (pdf)
A summary of the changes made to the draft Plan following the public consultation in June and July can be seen coloured in red here:
Richmond SEND Futures Transformation Plan 2019 - summary of changes following consultation (pdf)
In Richmond, the gap between the funding provided for SEND services by central government and the cost of delivering these services will have reached £18m by April 2021. Richmond Council, Achieving for Children and local schools have been lobbying government for fair funding for the last two years - and you can add your voice to the campaign by visiting this page:
While the campaign for fair funding continues, SEND Futures aims to bring together everyone with an interest in SEND services - parents and carers, children and young people, schools, charities and community groups, health providers, Achieving for Children and the Council - to make the best possible use of the resources available to us.
How can I get involved?
Please make sure you read the feedback in You said, we did.
We are using your feedback to develop a SEND Futures Plan for Richmond, which will be jointly owned by all organisations which deliver or commission services for children and young people with SEND. Then visit the page below to find out all the ways you can continue to be involved: