Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) commissioning is about how we use the resources available for families to improve outcomes in the most efficient, effective, equitable and sustainable way. To plan how we use and develop resources, we first need to listen and understand what is needed by those with SEND and their families.

We do this by talking with children and young people with SEND, their families and providers of services such as those across health; the local authority; schools, early years settings; further education institutions and the voluntary and community sector. We also research the needs and priorities, looking what is already in place, identifying any gaps or duplication, and listen to feedback. Like, all local authorities we produce a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). This is written with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local partners, and describes the future health, care and wellbeing needs of our local people and identifies what plans need to be made so that services can meet their needs. 

Read Cambridgeshire’s current JSNA and the summary report.

What is SEND joint commissioning?

Joint commissioning is deciding how to use the total resources from local partners available for families.

The Children and Families Act 2014 says local authorities must integrate educational provision and training provision with health and social care provision, where it promotes wellbeing and improves the quality of provision for children or young people with SEND. Local authorities and NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) must make joint commissioning arrangements for education, health and care provisions for children and young people aged 0 - 25 with SEND.

Joint commissioning may involve services that we already run, or buying services from organisations. Reviewing and monitoring of services is ongoing and involves service users and providers.

How are decisions about services made?

Plans and actions are discussed at the local authority’s Special Educational Needs Performance and Commissioning Board and the Children’s Health Joint Commissioning Board (local authority and NHS).

County Council decisions are made according to the constitution of the Council

The committee that makes decisions about matters relating to children and young people is the Children and Young People Committee. 

How do we involve you?

Cambridgeshire County Council believes that everybody who lives in Cambridgeshire has the right to be involved in Council decisions that affect their daily lives. The public are invited to help with the design and delivery of local services. We know that working together with the people who use our services is the best way to make sure that local people’s needs will be met and will also make the best use of the resources available.

Sets out our commitment to supporting the voice of local people to be heard, written jointly by the Council, members of the public and representatives from local voluntary sector organisations.
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Cambridgeshire’s Parent Carer Forum

Pinpoint Cambridgeshire is an independent information, support and parental involvement network.  Pinpoint is run by parents, and works for all parents and carers, across Cambridgeshire, especially those with children with additional needs and disabilities.

Pinpoint offers parents:

  • an independent source of information
  • help for parent support groups
  • chances to get involved in making decisions about services such as health, social care and education.

Pinpoint is commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council to run a Partners In Commissioning group that brings together parent carers with Council and health representatives to discuss decisions about services and provision. Pinpoint also represents parent carers on several strategy groups such as the Autism Strategy Group, the Local Offer Working Group, the SEND Performance & Commissioning Board, and the Health Joint Commissioning Board.  Contact pinpoint, if you would like to find out more or get involved.

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

The Parent Partnership Service providing Cambridgeshire's Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) offers impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents and carers who have a child or young person with SEND or a disability or have concerns that their child has special educational needs. Through their work with parents and carers they help inform local authority policy and practice regarding SEND. SENDIASS run regular events and activities to support parent carers and to allow their voice to be heard.