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East Sussex Children and Young People with SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

The East Sussex Children and Young People with SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment report has been published.

What is the SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)?

If you are a parent carer in East Sussex, you may recall completing a survey earlier this year, asking about your family’s views and experiences of SEND services in the county. 725 parent carers’ answers fed into the SEND JSNA, along with analysis of data and input from practitioners within service-providing organisations.  The JSNA looks at the health and wellbeing needs of our children and young people, what is currently available, what’s working well, and what improvements are needed.

This report is incredibly rich in detail and will be a vital source of information for all services working in East Sussex over the coming years.  It’s a hefty document, but you can find a summary of the conclusions and recommendations on pages 141-148.

What does the JSNA say?

You may be interested in looking at some of the data within the report.  For example, as at January 2020, 14.3 percent of all pupils in East Sussex were in receipt of SEN support or had an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  This was 3,510 children and young people aged 0-25 with an EHCP Plan and 7,529 pupils receiving SEN support.  There is detailed information on the characteristics of children and young people with SEND within these groups and useful comparisons to other areas.

The report had positive things to say about the Front Door referral system and CLASS (Communication, Learning and Autism Support Service). We were also pleased to see the report identifies that “support from the CVS [Charities and Voluntary Sector], and in particular from Amaze SENDIASS, is particularly valued by stakeholders and families alike for information, support and advice.”

The report identifies a number of areas where East Sussex SEND services for children and young people could see scope for improvements. These include access to services; early identification and intervention; EHCP processes; inconsistency of support in schools; inconsistent joint working between services; and families’ voices not being effectively listened to.

How will the JSNA be used to make a difference?

Amaze is working with East Sussex Parent Carer Forum (ESPCF) and colleagues in ISEND, health and social care teams to consider these findings and ensure the recommendations are developed and captured in a new SEND Strategy for East Sussex 2022-2025.  There will be opportunities for parents to be involved in this planning process, for example by discussing and seeking ways to address the barriers families experience in accessing SEN support, an EHC needs assessment or an effective EHCP; exploring how to reduce the gap in attainment for SEND children and young people; strengthening post-16 options; revisiting the short-breaks offer in East Sussex; and ensuring that the increasing volumes and complexity of lower level mental health needs that do not meet current service thresholds are responded to (including support for those who are awaiting assessment).

More details will be available on next steps with the SEND strategy in coming weeks but to get involved, please contact info@espcf.org.uk

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