West Sussex Special Educational Needs and Disability Strategy

Closed 20 May 2016

Opened 15 Apr 2016

Feedback updated 8 Dec 2016

We asked

West Sussex residents and schools were asked for their views on the draft SEND Strategy and Action Plan, including whether they agreed with the aims and objectives of the strategy and our vision for achieving them.


You said

83% of respondents agreed with the aims and objectives of the Strategy and 79% agreeing with our vision for achieving them.  The key themes that emerged were concerns that mainstream education is not suitable for all children with SEND and that there should be more focus on, and resource for, specialist provision. 

We did

The Strategy has been updated following the consultation to reflect the feedback provided. You can find the final strategy document in the related documents section below. The Action Plan is in the process of being updated with further detail on how the recommendations will be implemented and will be published shortly.

Results updated 8 Dec 2016

Here is a copy of the feedback letter

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Here is a summary of the consultation results:

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West Sussex Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Strategy

During April and May 2016 West Sussex County Council held a consultation to determine how we could strengthen education for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  We were delighted that so many West Sussex families and professionals took the time to respond to the consultation on the SEND strategy which has been co-produced with nurseries, schools, colleges, carers and parents.

83% of respondents agreed with the aims and objectives of the strategy and 79% agreed with our vision for how we could achieve these. The concerns that were raised in the consultation related to the unsuitability of mainstream education for all of the children with SEND, and cited the need for more funding for specialist support and more detail on how the recommendations would be delivered.

As part of the consultation we also asked for feedback on the priorities for improvement to give us a better understanding of how you feel our resources are best used. The top three priorities identified were:

  1. A single point of contact in the local authority for questions about SEND.
  2. Developing an inclusion agreement with schools.
  3. Developing more specialist provision for autism and social, emotional and mental health needs.

We have updated the strategy and action plan in response to the outcomes of the consultation. A copy of the strategy document has been sent to all schools and is also attached to this letter, along with the action plan.  It is important that we continually improve our services but also make sure that we can adapt to the expected increase in demand. We recognise that many of our mainstream and special schools provide exceptional education and pastoral care for our children and young people with SEND and we want to extend this even further.

We would like to encourage everyone to pledge their commitment to working together to ensure that all children and young people with SEND have access to high quality, local education within West Sussex.


Here is our consultation document:

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You might also like to view the video blog by Jay Mercer, our Interim Director of Education & Skills, where he talks about the new draft Strategy for children and young people with SEND.




Why we are consulting

We have listened to families and schools who tell us that they feel more support is needed to enable children with SEND to access good education locally and this provides the basis of a new strategy which we are co-producing with nurseries, schools, colleges and parents.

During the consultation we will be asking residents and practitioners for their views on this strategy and how the County Council can strengthen the education we provide for children and young people with SEND.

An easy read version of the strategy document is provided below for people with learning difficulties and young people.

What happens next

The consultation ran until Friday 20 May 2016. The results were analysed and fed back into the final strategy document. 

The final strategy was discussed at July’s Children and Young People's Services Select Committee before being agreed by the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills. The final Strategy was published in December 2016.  

Following agreement of the strategy an action plan was developed linking into work already taking place. The plan sets out the actions needed to take the strategy forward and sets out deadlines for implementation.



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