The government has made some changes to the support system for disabled children and young people and those with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

The Children and Families Act 2014 came into effect on September 2014. The SEND reforms focus on two key areas: – greater cooperation between education, health and social care and a greater focus on the outcomes.

The Act, along with the guidance of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years (July 2014), outlines details for planning and the delivery of services to children and young people with SEND.

It means that professionals from different services will have to work more closely together to give children and young people aged 0 to 25 with special educational needs or a disability the support they need.

Children and young people will have more say over what support and services are offered in their local area, and more help will be available for young people as they prepare for adulthood.

An example of collaborative working within recruiting new staff.

Statement of intent

The Statement of Intent sets out the role of NHS Dorset CCG and what you can expect from the CCG relating to special educational needs and disability.  It covers services commissioned for children and young people with SEND.

The Statement of Intent also has links for Poole, Bournemouth and Dorset’s Local Offer.

Our Statement of Intent is also available in easy-read format.

Local Offer

Local Authorities must now publish, in one place, a website which outlines all services/resources and latest news about and for children with additional needs 0 – 25 years. This information is known as the Local Offer.

Currently Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) SEND Local Offer information can be found in three locations.  They are working towards one combined Local Offer and this information will be updated in due course.

Designated Clinical Officer

The Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) supports Dorset and the CCG to meet its statutory responsibilities for children and young people with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The DCO provides a point of contact for the CCG, local authority, schools and colleges when specialist health advice is required. The DCO also agrees the health services within an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Dorset CCG’s Designated Clinical Officer (DCO), Steve Clarke joined Dorset CCG in April 2018. If you would like to contact him please use the following:


Single Route of Redress – National Trial

The government is extending the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the SEND Tribunal, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of education, health and care (EHC) plans as part of a two-year trial. The trial will apply to decisions made or EHC plans issued/amended from 3 April 2018.

To date, you have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC plans. The trial gives you new rights to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal. This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC plan in one place.

It is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC plan and the education aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.

Summary – explaining the key elements of the single route of redress national trial

Summary – for parents and young people

The evaluation of this trial is led by IFF Research working with Belmana. For any questions or to get involved, please contact IFF Research.

Contact the Dorset SEND Information, Advice and Support service (SENDIASS).

For more information please read the Single Route of Redress National Trial – Guidance and Toolkit.

Development and Behaviour Pathway

The Development and Behaviour Pathway for children, young people and families in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole has been developed to help clarify the steps that should be taken when someone is worried about a child or young person’s development or behaviour. It has been developed in partnership with parents and carers, with input from professionals working in health, education and social care and is based upon findings from local and national research as well as NICE guidelines.

Joint Agreement in respect of operational arrangements for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) aged 0 to 25 years across Dorset

The special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014 are focussed on enabling children and young people to achieve the best they can, with an emphasis on outcomes rather than processes.

The Joint Operational Agreement is designed to support NHS organisations, health professionals and local authorities across Dorset to understand their statutory duties in relation to these reforms. It concentrates on the areas of health in the 0-25 SEN and Disability Code of Practice and clarifies responsibilities and ways of working that have been jointly agreed between organisations across Dorset.

This agreement has been drawn up by: Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bournemouth Borough Council, The Borough of Poole and Dorset County Council.

SEND Awareness Training

Pan-Dorset system wide Awareness Training for SEND aimed at all staff across health, education and social care, who need to have an awareness of their day-to-day responsibility with regards to children and young people aged 0-25 with SEND.