Children and Families Cabinet Member - Tuesday 7th September 2021

No. Item


Getting the Best Start Plan


32      GETTING THE BEST START PLAN - The Director: Learning, Skills and Culture submitted a report seeking to introduce and adopt the Getting the BEST START Plan.


Under the One Family Approach to enabling children to remain in their homes, their families, and their communities, the Getting the BEST START Plan had been developed across council teams and with partners from Heath, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), community, schools and settings and aimed to improve outcomes for all children in their early years.


The BEST START Plan sought to ensure an enabling, accessible universal offer for all children and families in the early years, joining up elements including health visiting and maternity services with Imagination Library and baby massage, universal early education, leisure opportunities and workforce development across the sector. Aligned to this, targeted and specialist support that was coherently planned across services so that the best person or service provided the right support at the right time to ensure all children from conception to five made the Best Start in their lives.


Following a Local Government Association (LGA) peer review of Social Mobility in the Early Years in North Lincolnshire in 2019, partnership working had been further strengthened. Throughout the Covid period, work had continued under the key priorities, which were:


·       Improve children’s healthy development, including early mental health and emotional well-being

·       Develop parental readiness and resilience

·       Increase children’s communication and language skills

·       Improve children’s readiness to start school

·       Close the learning gap between the most and least advantaged

·       Improve transitions in their broadest sense


Golden threads running through these priorities were a focus on children’s first, critical 1001 days, from conception to age 2 and reach to the most vulnerable children including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).


Resolved – That Getting the BEST START Plan, to ensure that work to improve outcomes for children in their early years continued with shared understanding, joint ambition and clarity and pace of action planning and delivery, be approved and adopted.


The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Annual Report 2019-2020


33      THE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES (SEND) ANNUAL REPORT 2019-2020 – The Director: Learning, Skills and Communities submitted a report summarising the work undertaken during the period 2019/20 to implement the North Lincolnshire SEND and Inclusion Plan 2017-2020.


The report was directly linked to the SEND and Inclusion Plan 2017-2020. It described progress made against the priorities and commissioning intentions of the SEND and Inclusion Plan. For example, the opening of a new secondary phase Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) inclusion support provision – ‘Headway’ – at Baysgarth School in Barton-upon Humber. There had also been a successful bid to the Department for Education for a new 60-place SEND Free School for young people over the age of 16 who had severe learning disability, profound and multiple learning disability, speech and language communication needs, Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or potentially challenging and complex behaviours (scheduled to open September 2022). This new provision would enhance access to skills and employment for this particular group of young people with more complex needs – supporting preparation for adulthood. 


Headline strengths included well established integrated partnership working across the local authority, successful completion and compliance with SEND reforms and rollout of a new digital Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan Hub to enable children, young people and families to participate more effectively in the statutory special educational needs assessment process.


The SEND Standards Board was referenced as the governance forum of collective accountability amongst partners and agencies for supporting children and young people with SEND to achieve outstanding outcomes. It had ensured a clear line of sight for holders of statutory responsibilities on the duties of the local area for children and young people aged 0-25 years with SEND.


The report also detailed the range of priorities for development in 2020/2021 that would enable progress to be made against the place partnership ambitions of safe, well, prosperous and connected and the continued One Family Approach (OFA) drive to ensure that children and young people remained within their families, schools and communities.


Resolved – That the SEND Annual Report 2019-2020 be adopted and approved for publication.