What the area partnership is doing that is effective
Frontline practitioners, managers and leaders are ambitious for Brighton and Hove’s children and young people with SEND. Staff work together with a genuine sense of dedication. Their sharp focus on finding the most effective solution for each individual means that children and young people get the right help. Partnership working in the early years is particularly strong.
Leaders have an accurate, shared understanding of the needs of children and young people. This is promoted through the SEND strategy and across education, health and care and demonstrated through the creation of roles to coordinate services and promote inclusion. For example, the Hidden Children Officer draws connections between services, schools and families to ensure children and young people with emerging needs are supported to attend school and be a visible part of the community.
Co-production (a way of working where children, families and those that provide the services work together to create a decision or a service that works for them all) is a strength across Brighton and Hove. It is embedded in the local culture and is based on a relationship of trust and respect. The voices of parents, carers, children and young people influence strategic development and the commissioning of services. Parent voice is well represented in various panels across the city when considering access to services for individual families. There are many examples of strategic and operational co-production that are working well, for example the Social Communication Resources across primary and secondary school, the school transport policy, and the strategic plan for SEND. All resources that are being developed for the Dynamic Support Register (DSR) have been co-produced with PaCC.
Some of the forums that support children and young people have been recently adapted to work even better. They include complex care panels, complex neuro- developmental clinics and support from BHISS and the DSR. As a result, children and young people who have complex needs experience a timely multi-agency response from the partnership. Social workers know the children they support well and work effectively in order to form relationships with them and their families. This ensures that social workers understand children and young people’s wishes and lived experiences well.
The services that leaders commission are increasingly meeting the needs and aspirations of children and young people. Leaders have changed the culture of how they work in early help to match provision to children and young people’s needs, rather than the other way round. Leaders have carefully considered how to support different communities within Brighton and Hove so that children and young people can access the right help to succeed. The youth employability service provides personalised help to young people who find themselves without a place in education, employment or training post-16. The help and advice provided by SENDIASS is also highly valued. All this helps ensure that children and young people get bespoke support from the right professional at the right time.
Through routine and effective communication, the access to education team link with partners across education, health and care to promote the inclusion agenda. For example, help to analyse behaviour data, alongside training from BHISS in understanding the behaviour of pupils with SEND, is helping school leaders to significantly reduce suspension and improve attendance across the city.
Leaders have secure plans to increase the number of special school places to meet the rise in children and young people with EHC plans for autism spectrum disorder or social, emotional and mental health concerns. A special school satellite and some additional specially resourced provision for pupils with SEND in mainstream schools will open in September 2023, with more places planned to open in the following year.