Nottinghamshire Insight

Joint strategic needs assessment

Special Educational Needs and Disability 0 to 25 years (2023)

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Topic title Special Educational Needs and Disability 0 to 25 years (2023)
Topic owner Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (Special Educational Needs and Disability 0 to 25 years) Strategic Advisory Group
Topic author(s) Dr Robyn Wight, Katharine Browne
Topic quality reviewed January 2023
Topic endorsed by SEND Accountability Board
Topic approved by Health and Wellbeing Board March 2023
Linked JSNA topics

Executive summary


This chapter considers the needs of children and young people, aged 0 to 25 years with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND, also often referred to as SEN) who live in Nottinghamshire. The SEND code of practice highlights the importance of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) for informing local authority and Integrated Care Board (ICB) joint commissioning for children and young people with SEND (1). The code of practice defines SEN as:

"A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age
  • or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions."

Children and young people who have SEND may also have a disability under the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as “a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” (2). All children and young people with disabilities do not necessarily have SEN but there is significant overlap (1).
The Nottinghamshire vision is “that children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) will be safe, healthy, and happy, and have a good quality of life and opportunities to fulfil their aspirations, develop their independence and make a positive contribution to society.” (3)

Summary of Need

  • There are a number of factors which may make a child more at risk of requiring SEND support or an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) such as smoking and alcohol or drug use during pregnancy and poverty is “both a cause and effect of SEND” (12).
    In terms of inequalities:
    • There is ethnic disproportionality in the identification of SEND in England.
    • Although children from low income families are more likely to be identified as having SEND, they are less likely to receive support or effective interventions.
    • Research has shown people with a learning disability have worse physical and mental health than those without a learning difficulty.
  • The numbers of 0-24 year olds is projected to increase by 7.1% from 226,690 in 2018 to 235,808 in 2028.
  • School Census data shows that 11% of pupils in Nottinghamshire schools have SEND needs.
  • Children and young people with SEN support or an EHCP are more likely to be male and white.
  • The highest proportion of children with an ECHP are educated in a special school, followed by mainstream school and post 16 settings such as further education colleges.
  • 16-17 year olds with SEND in Nottinghamshire have similar rates of participating in education or training as those with no SEND needs and is higher than the England average.
  • The percentage uptake of annual health checks by those with learning disabilities is 66% at Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS Level.

Unmet need and gaps

  1. There is a need for more specialised SEND provision in Nottinghamshire. For example, many children are awaiting placement at a SEN school where it has been identified that their needs would be best met, however due to a lack of capacity within specialist provision, they are receiving their education at mainstream school. Funding is available and the County Council have applied to the Department for Education to build a new free school. Free schools are funded by the government but are not run by the local authority and have more control over how they do things (Free schools - GOV.UK).
  2. There needs to be continued improvements in the quality of preparation for adulthood for children and young people with SEND. The development of an all-age approach within SEND is a driver behind much of this work.
  3. There are delays in accessing timely health support for children and young people, with SEND due to waiting lists within respective services.
  4. There are gaps in data collection and reporting which need to be addressed if a complete picture of children and young people with SEND is to be obtained.

Recommendations for consideration


  Recommendation Lead(s)
  Data collation and reporting  
1 Improved data capture and reporting for SEND indicators in all CYP and adult health services. Continue to develop a multiagency data dashboard to robustly capture and monitor outcome-based data (with a focus on health inequalities) ICB, health providers
2 Routinely collate and analyse data about SEND children and young people transitioning to adult services ICB, health providers, LA, PH
3 Routinely collate and analyse data about children and young people with SEND in the Youth Justice Services ICB, health providers, LA
  Service delivery  
4 Review the feedback from the SEND parent carer survey and use information to inform improvements in service provision. ICB, health providers, LA
5 Ensure that Nottinghamshire can respond to the increasing children and young people with SEN needs which will lead to an increasing demand on services LA, ICB, health providers
6 When planning new Special Schools ensure there are secure, private clinic rooms with examination couches and handwashing facilities to facilitate health appointments in this setting LA
7 Review options to offer Special and Language Therapy in the Youth Justice setting Violence Reduction Unit, ICB, LA
8 Engage in review of Specialist Education provision commissioning framework review for the provision of Independent Non Maintained Schools (due to end in September 2023) LA
  SEND Local offer  
9 Continue to co-produce and refresh the current Local Offer website so that it is more easily navigated by parents and carers following earlier feedback that this was previously a challenge. ICB, health providers, LA
10 Develop a new communications plan for the SEND Local Offer to promote the site to members of the public and professionals ICB, health providers, LA
11 Ensure the SEND Local Offer information is reviewed and kept up to date through the agreed review process and engage with service providers to ensure they keep their records as up to date as possible ICB, health providers, LA
  Covid-19 pandemic recovery  
12 Develop a Covid-19 pandemic impact assessment for SEND CYP across Nottinghamshire ICB, health providers, LA
13 Use lessons learned during the pandemic to develop flexible ways of working including digital delivery if preferred and appropriate with children, young people, and their families. ICB, health providers, LA
  National guidance  
14 Implement as appropriate for Nottinghamshire the National SEND Improvement Plan- due for publication early 2023 SEND Accountability Board

Key contacts

Katharine Browne
Senior Public Health and Commissioning Manager

Chris Jones
SEND Strategic Lead

This is an online synopsis of the topic which shows the executive summary and key contacts sections. To view the full document, please download it.

Full report »