Special Educational Needs and Disabilities updates and news

This page has updates for parents, carers and families of any news, updates, consultations and events that are happening locally.

Last updated: 17 June 2024

New short breaks innovation programme

Testlands have been commissioned to provide the new short breaks innovation programme. The short breaks innovation programme is created by communities, for communities. Stakeholders say it is a crucial part to delivering the needs of those accessing the short breaks innovation programme and Testlands urge all those eligible to complete the youth voice form.

This will support Testlands tremendously in shaping the programme to the needs of the six eligible pathways and ensuring the young people have engaging and enriching activities to participate in. Young people and parent carers (on behalf of their young people) are encouraged to complete the form to help shape the programme. You can find the youth voice form on the Testlands website. You can also find all information on Testlands short breaks.

SEND Mainstream Funding Cluster Model

We are suggesting that Higher Needs SEND funding move to a Cluster Model for Mainstream School settings within Southampton.

Find out more and have your say at SEND Mainstream Funding Cluster Model.

Local Area Joint SEND Inspection Announcement

Ofsted logoSouthampton City Council and their partners will be inspected by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to see how well they work together to improve the experiences and outcomes of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Inspectors from Ofsted and CQC will visit the local area and will talk to providers of services and the Parent Carer Forum. The main way that the Inspectors will talk to parents and carers and children is by a questionnaire which they will send out before they visit. In a small number of cases they may also talk directly to families.

When will it happen?

  • Friday 26 April to Friday 10 May 2024 (off-site)
  • Monday 13 May to Friday 17 May 2024 (in Southampton)

Find out more and complete the survey

The inspections are carried out in line with the area SEND inspection framework and handbook.

You can also view an easy-read guide to local area SEND inspections.

If you are a parent/carer, young person or a professional, and you wish to share your views, you can complete the survey.

School Travel Service update

View the latest update regarding the School Travel Service.

How to improve your child's school attendance and where to get support

Department for Education logoAs a parent, it can be difficult to know when to send your child into school if they are feeling unwell or anxious, but finding solutions is a team effort between schools, parents and children, and there is support and information available to help you make the best decision for your child.

Read more about the campaign and find support and guidance at Education Hub.

Department for Education - Free School Transport explained

On Friday 3 November, the Department for Education published a blog post on free school travel, aimed at parents: Free school transport explained: From who’s eligible to how it works - The Education Hub. The post was created in response to local authorities’ feedback that they often find it challenging to manage parents’ expectations. It aims to support parents’ understanding of the eligibility criteria and to answer some commonly occurring questions. You can read the blog post here.