Oxfordshire SEND local offer

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) improvement

Our local area partnership work to improve services, our recent inspection and priority action plan.

The local area partnership

The local area partnership is made up of:

  • Oxfordshire County Council 
  • NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board (BOB ICB) 
  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH)
  • Oxfordshire Parent Carer Forum (OxPCF), the official body for the voice of parent carers. 

Oxfordshire County Council and BOB ICB are jointly responsible for the planning and commissioning of services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Oxfordshire. 

The local area partnership SEND inspection

In July 2023, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission inspected services for children and young people with SEND provided by Oxfordshire’s local area partnership. 

The inspection formed part of a new national framework of inspections for children and young people with SEND introduced in 2023. Inspectors identified widespread systemic failings across the local area partnership, leading to significant concerns about the experiences and outcomes of children and young people with SEND, which must be urgently addressed. 

Read the partnership’s response in its news story. 

As part of the inspection process, on 16 November, the Department for Education published an improvement notice, which was issued to the county council. This is an official document sent to councils following inspections that have similar outcomes, outlining the steps needed to evidence progress in improving services.

The priority action plan

On 12 December 2023, Ofsted approved the partnership’s priority action plan (pdf format, 827 KB). The plan sets out what will be achieved across five priority action areas. 

  1. Gathering and acting on the views of children and young with SEND and their families.
  2. Developing effective communications systems across the partnership to ensure coordinated approaches.
  3. Improved timeliness and quality assurance of education, health and care plans.
  4. Commissioning of services to meet the needs of children and young people and their families.
  5. Producing plans that are coproduced with children and young people and their families, which are rigorously monitored.

The SEND Strategic Improvement and Assurance Board

An Oxfordshire SEND Strategic Improvement and Assurance Board has been formally established to drive the action required to deliver better services for SEND children, young people and their families. 

The board is made up of senior leaders from across the partnership and members of the parent carer forum (PCF). Steve Crocker is the board’s independent chair.  

Members of the SEND Strategic Improvement and Assurance Board

Independent Chair 

  • Steve Crocker

Oxfordshire County Council

  • Chief Executive, Martin Reeves
  • Cabinet Member, SEND Improvement Cllr Kate Gregory
  • Cabinet Member, Children, Education and Young
  • People's Services, Cllr John Howson
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Ian Corkin
  • Executive Director People, Transformation and Performance, Stephen Chandler
  • Director of Children's Services, Lisa Lyons
  • Director for Public Health, Ansaf Azhar
  • SENDIASS Manager, Wendy Cliffe

NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board

  • Chief Executive, Dr Nick Broughton
  • Chief Nursing Officer, Rachael Corser
  • Director of Vulnerable People's Services, Niki Cartwright
  • Place Director, Oxfordshire Daniel Leveson

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

  • Chief Executive Officer, Grant Macdonald (Interim)

Oxford Universities Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • Director of Regulatory Compliance and Assurance, Clare Winch

Oxfordshire Parent Carers Forum

  • OxPCF Co-Chair (or a representative from the steering group), Jules Francis-Sinclair

Representative voice of education across Oxfordshire

  • CEO, Acer Trust Nathan Thomas
  • Joint Headteacher, Frank Wise Special School Simon Knight
  • Headteacher, Windale Primary School Katie Geran-Haq

Observers

  • Department for Education (DfE)
  • DfE representative from the south-east vulnerable children's unit
  • Red Kite Solutions (SEN) Ltd
  • Independent SEND advisor, Mark McCurrie
  • NHS England
  • NHS England advisor, David Keavney-Sheath

Steve recently retired from his post as Director of Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council and was a former President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services. 

By reading Steve’s blogs you can keep up with the main discussion points and any actions or decisions agreed upon at each board meeting:

Improving the experience of parent carers

We work in close partnership with the Oxfordshire Parent Carer Forum to improve the experience of parent carers. The Better Together report summarises the key findings from the Better Together event held in March 2023 for parent carers. That focused on what needed to change to improve the experience of parents and carers and that of the children and young people they care for.

Keeping up to date

Parents and carers can sign up to receive a SEND newsletter to get the latest news. SEND coordinators can fill out a form. Online support for parents and carers of children with SEND can be found on our local offer webpages.

Progress updates can be read on the news area of our website.