SEND: Our priority and everybody’s business

4 May 2021

Issued on behalf of Shropshire Parent and Carer Council (PACC)

A new strategy developed in partnership with Shropshire families and a wide range of local organisations has been launched, which will create more opportunities for children and young people with extra support needs or disabilities.

The Shropshire SEND strategy is being introduced to create a more inclusive and accessible community for children and young people under 25 and their families. It has been developed over the last two years, led by Shropshire Parent Carer Council (PACC) and working closely with Shropshire Council, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (STW CCG), local families, schools, colleges and health and care professionals.

Zara Bowden, Chair, PACC Shropshire, explains: “We are really excited to launch the Shropshire SEND strategy. It has been co-produced with children, young people and their families with SEND, so it helps us understand what we need to support them in achieving, and which services need to be involved. Most importantly, it helps us to understand why SEND is everyone’s business.

“We are calling on everyone in the community to come together and ensure these children and young people have the same opportunities as everyone else, and are encouraged to achieve the best life outcomes. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making this possible.”

A series of workshops over the past two years has helped to develop a collective vision for SEND and the priorities which are included in this strategy.

The resulting five year strategy for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) aims to eradicate inequality and realise the collective aspiration of the Shropshire SEND community, to live a life that others have come expect. It forms the foundation on which all future activity supporting children and young people with SEND will be based, ensuring their needs and aspirations are provided for across the system, from childhood into adulthood.

Claire Parker, Director of Partnerships for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “Implementing this strategy will be a huge benefit to local families. There is a strong commitment across the system to supporting children and young people, and the SEND strategy is an important part of this.

“As commissioners, listening to our patients is an important part of our commitment and duty to engage and involve. We want to help everyone enjoy the best health and lifestyle they can, and to do this we need to hear directly from people to understand their aspirations.”

The SEND strategy is a great starting place for conversations exploring what local organisations can do to be more inclusive of SEND and respond to families’ wants and needs. Everyone is invited to consider how their organisation can reflect and demonstrate the values and aspirations of the SEND strategy.

Karen Bradshaw, Executive Director of Children’s Services, Shropshire Council, said: “The SEND strategy is a document that sets out how the LA and CCG in Shropshire will respond to this in the way they plan and deliver services to children and young people with SEND and their families. It explores what young people expect to be available to them, and how services can help them achieve their goals by supporting them and listening to them throughout their journey into adulthood. For families, this means you should expect to see services putting the needs of your family at the heart of their delivery, listening to the outcomes your child wants to achieve and supporting them to find appropriate ways to do this.”

The Shropshire SEND Strategy is now live and available to view on the local offer here: https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/the-send-local-offer/strategy-policy-and-guidance/send-strategy/

For more details on PACC please see its website: https://www.paccshropshire.org.uk/

Page last updated 4 May 2021