New SEND strategy puts St Helens youngsters at the heart of plans
A new strategy which sets out plans to support young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs) has been approved by St Helens councillors.
A Life of Equal Chances sets out a partnership approach to making sure that young people with SEND get the right help over the next four years.
It was created using the feedback from families and young people who receive support and is grounded on information from groups such as Big Chat, a children and young people’s engagement forum for those with SEND.
It has also been shaped by the findings of The Children’s Society’s Good Childhood Inquiry and supports the St Helens Together Borough Strategy.
The strategy sets out priorities for improvements alongside the actions that all partners who make up the SEND Partnership Board, which was created last year, will take and how the progress will be measured.
It also sets out guiding principles that young people have set matter to them such as working with them on decisions, being open and honest and support them to succeed and celebrate them when they are achieved.
Councillor Nova Charlton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Chair of the SEND Partnership Board, said: “Our children and young people with SEND want to be able to live an ordinary life, a life with equal chances to shape their future, be active members of their community, be healthy, have choices and be able to make independent decisions.
“This strategy aims to deliver the aspiration of a life with equal chances for children and young people with SEND who experience different challenges in learning, health, independent living and relationships.
"We are committed to making a difference to the lives of children and young people in our communities, and to deliver a life with equal life chances it is important that families experience well-planned provision from birth to age 25.
“This strategy was developed in the middle of a pandemic which has had a profound impact for all families, and has the potential to increase inequality for our children and young people with SEND. In light of this as a partnership we are committed to delivering on the actions agreed and to work together to effectively manage our pressures.
“I’d like to thank all those who have helped us create this new strategy, especially the young people whose experiences and ideas have been the foundation for its creation.”
To see the document, which was approved by Cabinet, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/send