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Improving SEND services in Plymouth

Improving SEND Services In Plymouth Panel

New Plymouth partnership develops robust plan to improve support for children and young people with SEND

Children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in Plymouth will receive better care and support as a result of a new partnership plan to drive innovation and improvements.

Plymouth's local area SEND partnership has created a new SEND strategic improvement plan in response to concerns raised in the recent joint local area inspection, undertaken by the Care Quality Commission and Ofsted in June 2023.

The ambitious and robust plan has been co-produced by all partners which includes Plymouth City Council, school and college leaders, local NHS organisations and other key partners such as Plymouth Parent Carer Forum.

Integral to the creation of this plan was feedback from families and children and young people with SEND to ensure their lived experiences are at the heart of future services. In addition, 120 early years settings, school and college leaders came together to contribute their views on how things could be improved.

The plan, which was agreed by Plymouth City Council in a decision signed today, sets out clear priorities and areas for improvement and aims to rebuild trust in the local SEND system.

Partners will work together to:

  • Ensure there is clear oversight of the impact of the partnership on children, young people and their families
  • Quickly identify children and young people who are vulnerable and risk negative outcomes
  • Reduce the likelihood of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) being excluded from school
  • Address long waiting times for children and young people who need support from health services
  • Risk-assess children on waiting lists for health services, prioritising those with multiple needs
  • Ensure that children and young people with SEND who also have social care needs receive the care and support they need
  • Improve the consistency of support offered to children and young people in schools and settings
  • Provide all practitioners across social care, health, schools and settings, with the training they need to provide consistent education, care and support
  • Plan ahead, to ensure the right services and support are in place to meet the future needs of children in Plymouth.

A new, externally chaired Plymouth SEND Improvement Board will oversee accountability for delivering the actions set out in the plan.

Councillor Sally Cresswell, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Apprenticeships, said: "Children and young people are at the very heart of this plan and their voices will be listened to as we set out to deliver these improvements. Our priority is for all children and young people in Plymouth to be supported to grow up well and to achieve and thrive. It is absolutely crucial that those with special educational needs receive additional support so that they too reach their full potential."

"As a partnership, we are all committed to making improvements and rebuilding trust in our services as swiftly as possible."

Nigel Acheson, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Devon, said: "We know we need to work hard with our local partners to improve SEND services to children, young people and their families in Plymouth. This plan sets out our goals and how we will meet them. Children and young people have helped shape the plans and we will continue to make sure their voice is heard as this work gathers momentum."

Moira Marder, Chair of the Place Based Working Group which includes multi-academy trust CEOs, said: "As education leaders we are committed to working together in partnership to improve experiences for children and young people with SEND, ensuring that they receive the best education possible and that their needs are met."

The following two documents explain our priority areas and has been developed by the SEND Strategic Board.

More information



Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:

 Plymouth Local Offer homepage



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