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Transforming SEND services in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

BCP Council and NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are committed to working in partnership with children, young people, parents, carers and other agencies to radically improve support for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

We recently submitted an improvement plan – called a ‘written statement of action’ – to Ofsted, which we are now putting into action. The plan sets out how we are going to make improvements in eight key areas highlighted in an inspection of SEND services earlier this year (read the original inspection letter here). 

The eight key areas addressed by the plan are: 

  • Culture  
  • Evaluation  
  • Co-production  
  • Sustainable services 
  • Graduated response  
  • Education and health care plans (EHCPs)  
  • Joint commissioning 
  • Exclusion and inclusion  

Read the full written statement of action on how we will improve SEND services here.

We will publish a summary version of the plan on this website in the coming weeks, plus more information in different formats about the actions we are taking. 

We will make the changes set out in the improvement plan as quickly as possible. In some cases, actions may take time to implement, as we need to put robust arrangements in place to ensure they deliver sustainable, permanent improvements and result in a change in culture. However, we will communicate clearly and openly about timescales throughout the process with all of our key stakeholders. 

BCP Council and NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group are responsible for implementing the plans set out in the written statement of action. However, children, young people, parents and carers have been – and will continue to be – at the centre of the transformation programme.  

We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the parents, carers, young people and delivery colleagues who worked alongside us to create the written statement of action. In particular, we want to thank all the parents and carers who, either individually or through their groups, shared their lived experiences with us and helped to shape the written statement of action. 

The groups included Parent Carers Together, our strategic parent carer forum, and wider groups including: 

•           Dorset Children’s Foundation

•           Dorset Doors Open 

•           Parent Carer Foundation 

•           SENturions 

•           Slades Farm Group 

•           SWAN (Syndromes Without A Name) UK 

Thank you to everyone. These groups have committed to ongoing co-production work with us for the next stage of delivery.  If you would like to share your views in the future or join one of the above groups or offer co-production support from your parent/carer group, please see the section below called 'how to get involved'. 

The work to improve SEND services has given us an opportunity to look at provision across the whole system, and to shape future services in the right way, based on the experiences of the people we are here to support.  

Please visit this website again over the coming weeks to learn more about how we are making the changes set out in the improvement plan. 

What we are changing

The SEND inspection carried out in July 2021 identified eight key areas for improvement, which are addressed in the written statement of action. These are: 

  • Culture – we need to tackle cultural issues that have led to weak partnership working across the system, and with families and children 
  • Evaluation – we must improve leaders’ self-evaluations and ensure more focus on the lived experiences of children and young people  
  • Co-production – we need to work much more closely with families, children and young people to co-produce services 
  • Sustainable services – our services must be more sustainable and recruitment challenges need to be overcome  
  • Graduated response – there has been inconsistency in our graduated response, leading to slow identification and inconsistent access  
  • Education and health care plans (EHCPs) – we need to improve variations in EHCPs caused by weaknesses in joint working, access, timeliness and quality assurance 
  • Joint commissioning – poor joint commissioning arrangements have limited our ability to meet local area needs so this must be tackled 
  • Exclusion and inclusion – too high a proportion of pupils have not accessed education because of exclusions and a lack of inclusion 

We are working with children, young people, parents, carers, schools, health providers, education providers and the voluntary sector through the SEND Improvement Board (SIB). The SIB was set up in August 2020 to oversee the development and implementation of our improvement plans.  

The SIB’s agreed approach is that leaders and professionals will lead but not direct – the actions and outcomes that are needed will be co-created and co-produced with those who need them and use them.  

Read the full written statement of action on how we will improve SEND services here.

How to get involved

If you would like to share your views and ideas in the future, to help us improve SEND services, we would love to hear from you.  

You can contact us via sendimprovement@bcpcouncil.gov.uk or by contacting one of the parent/carer groups mentioned above:

Dorset Children's Foundation - dan@thedcf.org

Parent Carer Foundation - marion.parentcarerfoundation@gmail.com

Parent Carers Together 

SWAN UK - dorset@undiagnosed.org.uk

To stay up-to-date with what's happening in the SEND transformation programme and the improvements we are making, you can also sign up to our weekly family information newsletter. To subscribe, please click here, enter your details and tick the Family Information option.