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SEND and education inclusion strategies 2022-25

Foreword from Kirsten Harrison, Director of Education

We are delighted to launch Gloucestershire’s Education Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) strategies 2022-2025.

SEND strategy

Inclusion strategy

These strategies build on the work delivered through the Joint Additional and High Needs Strategies and following engagement with children, families, colleagues and partners set out the shared vision and priorities to continue our journey to enable children to live remarkable lives and keep children at the heart of what we do. The strategies will further strengthen our partnerships, take learning from areas of continued development, and build on local strengths.

The strategies are timely, as we start to emerge from a global pandemic that has had an unprecedented impact on all our children and young people, and particularly the most vulnerable.

Nationally and locally, we have seen the impact for children that have missed the developmental benefits provided by timely and available Education, Health and Social Care assessment and provision.

The early life, early identification, and early intervention support from multi agency services that support children and families was limited due to the pandemic. This coupled with parental confidence to use services that were available, and the current economic position has created a complex landscape of need for Gloucestershire to respond to.
An example is the socialisation and learning that children benefit from in attending early years’ settings. Due to the restrictions placed on all of us by the pandemic we have seen increasing challenges for children in the early years stages of their lives with significant gaps in speech and language development, impacting on the preparation for school and wider community participation that we have previously perhaps taken for granted.

The lost learning and opportunities being part of a cohesive community for children and young people in our primary, secondary, special post-16 and colleges is also challenging, but again not as much as the loss of structure, socialisation, and personal development that education and community access provides for our young people.
Education is also a protective factor for many of our most vulnerable children; a place that isn’t just focussed on learning but providing holistic support for their well-being and personal development.

Consequently, we are seeing a rising number of vulnerable children and young people that need support across Education, Social Care, Health and the community and voluntary sector.

This rise builds on the increasing demand we have across Gloucestershire of children and families needing early support, interventions that have a meaningful impact from all services and a rise across all areas for statutory assessment and plans.

The two strategies we share with you here have been produced together, to ensure that we take a joined-up approach to address this rising level of need in all settings. They share common goals to ensure that:

  • Locally we grow together and work collaboratively in a structured way with a shared vision that works in the best interests of children and young people
  • Local funding is supporting earlier identification and intervention and that we address barriers that prevent access to earlier intervention
  • Local specialist support is of high quality and available when its needed

We are proud of the work that our services and teams undertake to support the children and young people in Gloucestershire. We believe that the vision and priorities that are set out in the strategies focuses our work on enabling children, young people, and their families to be able to access the information and the support they need to thrive.

Kirsten Harrison,
Director of Education


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