Joint Commissioning for SEND

The Children and Families Act places a legal duty on Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to secure services to meet the provision set out in individual EHC Plans.

This means that CCGs and the Local Authority will work together to ensure the full integration of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision across education, health  and care and strengthen the principles of joint planning and commissioning of services as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014, including those that will:

  • improve the identification of needs
  • support and develop further joint commissioning arrangements between the two CCGs in Cheshire East, the Local Authority and Public Health
  • build on work already undertaken in the joint health and wellbeing strategy
  • support the creation of a draft joint commissioning strategy

How we will commission joint services

The Children and Families Act requires the Local Authority and its partner CCGs to act consistently with the joint commissioning arrangements, to keep arrangements under review and to update them.

Joint commissioning strategies will consider the whole system challenges of personalisation, personal budgets and resource allocation. In addition to this, strategic, costed and evidence-based decisions about early intervention will be identified to ensure shared outcomes. To this end the Local Authority and CCGs are working together to review current provision within children’s services. Current provision will be compared to the needs identified in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and we will then explore opportunities to commission services jointly.

Ultimately, the joint commissioning arrangements and strategy will ensure that the Local Authority and CCGs are able to secure education, health and care provision for all children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities, including those who have an Education, Health and Care Plan

Vision and principles

Our vision in Cheshire East is that

  • services are child and family centred
  • all partner agencies agree to participate in joint planning and performance management
  • pooled or aligned budgets are developed where appropriate

The principles underpinning this vision are:

  • all decisions are based on clear rationale for improving outcomes for children,  young people, their families and carers
  • we will ensure that systems are in place to Safeguard children and young people and promote their welfare
  • we will focus on commissioning high quality services that secure positive outcomes and offer the best value for money
  • we will ensure there are systems in place for reviewing and monitoring outcomes for children and young people with SEND. We will utilise this data to inform future joint commissioning decisions
  • we will utilise a wide range of information to inform commissioning decisions  - this includes (not exclusively) the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, The Children and Young People’s Plan, the Local Offer, analysis of local Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans, and the active participation of children, young people and their families/community
  • we will ensure there are robust governance and assurance processes in place, including agreement on decision making and funding powers. We will ensure that all commissioning processes, including tendering and procurement, are transparent and in line with good practice and legal requirements
  • we will take account of legislation, along with national, regional and local guidance and best practice
  • we will secure strong and effective partnerships between the public, voluntary, community and private sectors
  • we will take account of the need to ensure sustainability, build capacity where appropriate and source services as locally as possible

More information can be found in the Cheshire East Children and Young People’s Joint Commissioning Strategy (PDF, 608KB)