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Devon SEND Improvement news – May 2023

This month’s Devon’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) Improvement Partnership Board news update has been published. Devon SEND Improvement news is for children, young people, parents, carers and professionals.

News from the SEND Improvement Partnership Board

On 26 April the Improvement Partnership Board looked at how we can better demonstrate what change is happening, and how quickly. The Board agreed that we will be managing local authority progress through a monthly Quality Performance Review Meeting (QPRM) which will ask:

  • What is working well?
  • What is not working?
  • What are the focus and actions for the next month?

The Improvement Plan has four sections, to match the four areas of weakness. Each section has a workstream of people delivering it. Progress will be reported to QPRM each month. This will simplify how we are managing the improvement work. The QPRM will cover Devon County Council’s progress: broader performance management will follow.

You can read the minutes of the SEND Improvement Board on the Local Offer website.

Neurodiversity and the SEND Improvement plan

We will be rephrasing section four of the SEND Improvement Plan following conversations with families.

This section had used autism spectrum disorder throughout, but we are going to change this to neurodivergence. This change reflects what families told us in the family engagement sessions in March and April and was approved by the Board in April.

Families had talked about the impact of repeatedly hearing the loaded word ‘disorder’ about their child or young person’s way of thinking. They also spoke about the need, which is recognised by our NHS partners, to have a more integrated and inclusive approach. Our language should reflect that inclusivity, and this is simple but important change.

The Board has also asked that there is more representation from education and schools in the neurodivergence workstream.

Impacts group for young people

Impacts is a new group led by young people for young people with SEND aged 12 to 25 (19 to 25 with an EHCP) who want to make a difference. The group focusses on making change and having an impact on services and issues that affect them and their peers.

The group meets in Exeter from 5pm to 6:30pm on Wednesdays and is supported by the participation team.

We aim to make the group as accessible as possible so we’re offering different ways to be involved. For example, young people can get involved online or in person, through text and email, or through one-to-one sessions with a participation worker. These options can be done instead of, or alongside, attending the group sessions.

If you are, or know, a young person who might be interested in having an impact, please contact

Youth Voice to look at 16+ life transitions

Devon County Council’s Youth Council are looking for the views of people who work directly with young people who are going through some of life’s major changes. Changes like the move from:

  • children’s services to adult services
  • secondary education to college, university or employment
  • living at home to living independently.

This includes – but is not limited to – young people with SEND.

You can learn more about the questionnaire and other youth voice opportunities on the Devon Children and Families Partnership website.

More information

You can read the full newsletter online.

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