Essex Schools Accessibility Strategy 2023 to 2027

Supporting accessibility in Essex schools for pupils with a disability

The outcomes our SEND improvement programme will achieve

Our aims for the SEND improvement programme are aligned to the outcomes of our existing Essex Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership Plan (below). Read the full Essex Children and Young People's Strategic Plan on

Outcomes for Children and Young People
Children and young people are well looked after and safe, with their basic needs being met within resilient families Children and young people are emotionally healthy and make good decisions Children and young people are engaged in positive activities and are physically healthy Children, young people and families positively support each other within their communities Children and young people have good quality education, training and work opportunities
The specific outcomes we aim to achieve for each workstream are:
Workstream & Ofsted / CQC Feedback Outcomes Action Plan Ref What will be different as a result? How will this be measured?
Identification of Need: The reasons for, and accuracy of, the high proportions of children and young people identified with moderate learning difficulties (MLD) are yet to be resolved. Potential over-identification could mask underlying difficulties in SLC and SEMH development The needs of children and young people are accurately identified at the earliest opportunity. This leads to timely and appropriate support for children, young people and their families and the result is sustained, positive impact on their individual outcomes.

ID 1

ID2 – 8

For Children, young people and their families:

Children, young people and their families will be involved in early discussions and decision making about their individual needs.

Children’s needs will be accurately identified through effective One Planning, leading to co-produced, meaningful outcomes and support.

Children and young people will know their outcomes, interim targets and what support is in place to help them achieve their outcomes.

Families will experience a tell us once approach.

Qualitative data regarding parental and children/young people’s confidence in One Planning, SEN Support and ongoing support/ provision with an EHCP – baseline measure POET survey (closing date July 2019, respondents n= 2471) Data collated as part of the Young People’s POET Challenge 2020. Baseline experience: - POET survey (closing date July 2019, respondents n=2471); -Essex Family Forum engagement workshops (2019) -High Need Block survey (2018, respondents n=1800
    EHC 11 For professionals: Information sharing between partner agencies, such as Section 23 and pregnancy notifications, will be consistent, timely and specific. Increase in number of identifications shared between trusts and ECFWBS such as pregnancies and s23. Decrease in variation between geographical areas/ trusts. Baseline measures and indicators to track progress through improvement workstreams (as per specified in paragraph 8 of this document). Quality of S23 information will be increased. – data by LA, CCGs and ECFWBS.
    EHC15 Increased consistency and delivery of 2½ year old checks improves the early identification of children’s needs. Quantitative data shows an increase in the number of integrated checks since 2019 and decrease in variability between geographical areas - data from ECFWBS.
    EHC16 Increase in the number of 14 – 25year olds with LD undertaking the annual GP health check. Increased percentage of children and young people with Learning Disability health checks delivered – data from ECFWBS. Consistency in rates across the local area. Evidence that health checks result in identification of health needs and delivery of support – data sampling, data provided by ECFWBS.
    ID11 Partners will have confidence that identification of need is accurate and in-line with national/ evidence based expected averages.

Data analysis of the numbers of children and young people identified with MLD, SLCN and SEMH show a reduction in deviation from the national averages – via census data and national DfE data



    1D10 Systems and processes will be in place to track, question and understand where there is deviance from the expected.  



Census data will be an accurate reflection of children’s needs enabling accurate joint forecasting, budgeting and future planning.

School and setting staff will feel more confident, and supported, in the correct identification and provision of early support, in relation to speech and language and social emotional mental health needs.

Qualitative data regarding confidence in identifying needs and how to support their child – via survey with schools and settings and training feedback.
    ID9- 11 Records of children’s needs will be accurate – enabling effective planning, forecasting, tracking and budget management. Children’s progress - as measured through termly One Planning and annual reviews Budget information
    ID7 ID11 There may be a reduction in appeals in relation to schools for children with MLD. Quantitative data in relation to appeals for schools for children with MLD – via data held by the LA.

Joint Commissioning Workstream:

Arrangements between the local authority and the CCGs do not work well enough to provide children and young people with the services that they need.

Children, young people and their families experience equitable access to a consistent, high quality range of educational support, health services and specialist provision, appropriate to their needs and circumstances.

Commissioners share a common, accurate view of need across the county and use this to jointly commission consistently high-quality services, which are accessible across the county.

JC15 JC17 For Children, young people and their families: The autism and speech, language and communication needs pathways are clear and easily accessible to families Positive feedback from families regarding the clarity and effectiveness of the pathways – captured through specific new question to be included in Essex personalised POET 2021
    JC8 -17 A pathway is established that allows re-referrals as necessary without having to start again.

Re-referral data.

Positive feedback from families on the services listed in J8-17 of the action plan

    JC8 -17

Waiting times are reduced and consistent across the county, in particular for ASD and Speech and language assessments.

Children & young people receive a timely & thorough assessment and access to the appropriate level of support.

Quantitative data regarding clear reduction in waiting times for assessments for ASD and SL assessments - via data held by CCGs.

Consistency in wait times across the county - via data held by CCGs.

Timescales of the Neurodevelopmental pathway are compliant with NICE guidelines.

    JC 17

Children, young people and families who are in receipt of specialist provision benefit from a coordinated and consistent approach by the service and other professionals, in supporting them to make progress against their outcomes.

Parental satisfaction regarding access, quality and consistency of specialist provision is increased.

Positive qualitative data regarding parent and child satisfaction in access, quality and consistency of services received – via Essex Family Forum consultation and/or survey.

Consistency in the provision available across Essex.

    JC15 JC9 Parents have access to quality information and resources and are encouraged and supported in their role as primary communicators.

Positive feedback from families. Data from Talk, Listen, Cuddle website will show increased use.

Data from Talk, Listen Cuddle social media accounts will show increased numbers of followers and/or members

Evidence of outcomes for children from parental engagement – sample data, annual reviews.

    JC15 The Local Offer website provides meaningful information for families and families are utilising the information available to them. Qualitative data on parental awareness and use of the website– via google analytics monthly data, annual review survey measured from the 2018 baseline. (HNB survey of parents 2018).
    JC2 JC3

For professionals:

A joint data set and provision map for the local area is in place and robust arrangements enable partners to use data and intelligence from across all agencies to form a shared understanding of the needs of the local area.

Creation of the joint SEND data set (JSNA), which informs joint commissioning strategy and shared sufficiency plan.

Creation of joint commissioning strategy with clearly articulated shared ambitions to improve services and consistency across the county.

Jointly commissioned services such as:

  • SENDIASS service
  • Local Offer Systems mapping to identify gaps reviewed pre and post integrated systems – data gathered from LA, CCGs, third sector organisations and partners.
    JC5 Develop of a joint SEND Strategy with outcomes framework will give clear strategic direction. Production of SEND strategy and outcomes framework cp-produced by all partners and EFF.
    JC17 Essex has an integrated system for the delivery of specialist services (such as SLT) across the county, eliminating duplication of effort and financial resources between partners.

Successful implementation of the redesign of Speech & Language Services – complete Aug 1st 2021. Planning in place for OT/Physiotherapy for SLCN initially and other areas of need to follow.

Quantitative data around spend and reduction in overlap between partners from a baseline in 2019- budget information.

Qualitive data regarding effectiveness of partnership working – staff consultation.

    JC17 Essex has a clear and coherent pathway for the delivery of therapy services (inc. SLT), that clearly identifies roles and responsibilities needed across the system, to support children and young people with identified Therapeutic Needs. Removing duplication and aligning resources. To ensure that the children and young people receive the right support, at the right time, delivered by the right person.  
    JC17 Therapists have confidence in the ability of the wider workforce to support children following intervention, allowing for timely and appropriate discharge.

% increase in the availability and reach of training and resources to support the wider workforce force to identify and meet need at an earlier stage as well as support following discharge - Measure of take up of courses.

% increase in the frequency of discharge - Measure of re referrals to provider teams.

% reduction in the number of inappropriate referrals for specialist therapy support.

    JC9, JC17

Therapy pathways across Essex are coherent and equitable in order to meet the needs of the Essex population. All professionals working with children and young people are aware of how to access the appropriate support.

The speech, language and communication needs pathway is clear and easily accessible to professionals

Improved quantitative data around timeliness of discharges – held by the services

No. and reach of communications available.

% reduction in the number of inappropriate referrals for specialist therapy support.

Qualitive data on Staff awareness of the pathway.

EHCP Workstream:

Too many EHC plans do not include the information needed to secure high-quality outcomes for children and young people.

Children and young people have high quality, specific and effective EHC plans, which have been co-created with them by education, health and social care through an efficient process. Plans continue to have meaningful impact on the child’s outcomes.

Staff across all agencies are confident and proficient in the production and contribution towards high quality plans with relevant advice and provision.


For Children, young people and their families:

Outcomes in EHC plans are co-created and fully consider educational, social care and health needs. Outcomes are measurable and it is clear to children, young people and their families how services are working together. Families and young people feel well supported by the local area to achieve high quality outcomes

Increase in % of professional advice provided within timescales – measured from Capita quarterly by provider and type

Qualitative data re quality of plans shows an increase in quality of written advice – moderation, sampling of plans and POET new plan survey

Feedback from SENCOs on quality of new plans.

    EHC14 EHC5

New plans are of a high quality and accessible, so children and their families clearly understand the outcomes and support. Families and young people feel they have been listened to and have contributed to outcomes, targets, support and provision.

Children and young people understand how they are going to make progress towards their outcomes.

Qualitative data re quality of new plans shows an increase in quality of written advice – through moderation, sampling of plans and joint QA processes

Young people’s POET challenge - Priority two - measured through a young people’s survey to peers.

    EHC3 EHC5

Parents/ carers are informed in a timely way if EHC plans will cease.

Increased parental confidence that the One Planning process leads to their child’s needs being met in school.

Qualitative data re parental satisfaction with One Planning, EHCP, Annual Review processes and quality of plans - through Essex Family Forum consultation and/or survey.
    EHC5 Specialist provision identified within EHC plans is received. Feedback from families re satisfaction with receipt of provision – EFF/ POET.





For professionals:

The workforce, including evidence writers, receive training, guidance and support on the statutory processes and high-quality plans. As a result, all parties have an increased professional understanding, confidence and capability with regards to statutory processes and EHCPs

Effective multi-agency moderation of plans is in place, leading to better quality co-production of plans, strategic oversight, shared learning and improved outcomes.

Processes and systems enable professionals across the local area to work together when identifying, assessing, determining and reviewing support. All partners have robust oversight of the provision specified in EHC and there is assurance that is can be delivered.

Annual reviews of EHC plans, including those for children and young people placed in independent schools outside the local area, are consistently completed within the required timescales to a consistently high quality.

Development or commissioning of training and guidance content. Data re staff confidence, quality of plans - Training registers, moderation, staff survey and development plans.

Processes and systems in place such as moderation, recording, data sharing - process maps, staff feedback.

Qualitative data re quality and joint working – moderation, sampling and staff feedback.

Quantitative data re annual reviews – data held by the LA

    EHC7 Reduction in appeals related to receiving the specialist provision stated in plans. Reduction in appeals - data held by the LA
    JC8 The Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Services (SENDIAS) standards are met.

Improved quantitative data regarding access to SENDIASS services – data held by the SENDIASS service.

Data in line with national standards.


We will have a streamlined process that ensures that specialist equipment is made available to all identified pupils in a timely way.

Timescales will be measured and reduced to ensure no delay for children and young people.

Process in place by Sept 2020

All children and young people will receive any required specialist equipment within 6 weeks of identification.

    EHC5 Children and young people have clear and measurable outcomes

Development of individual outcomes tool – life without labels

Positive result/ feedback from pilot schools

Successful implementation across project schools.

Impact against individual outcomes shows clear and measured progress.