Agenda and minutes

Leicestershire Schools' Forum - Monday, 4 July 2022 10.00 am

Contact: Karen Brown (Tel. 0116 305 6340)  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for absence/Substitutions.


Apologies were received from Carolyn Lewis, Clive Wright, Jane Lennie and Martin Towers.



Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 June (previously circulated) and matters arising. pdf icon PDF 226 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on the 6 June 2022 were agreed.


Transforming SEND and Inclusion in Leicestershire


Jane Moore thanked the Forum for meeting at short notice.  The purpose of the meeting is to share the overview of the current SEND and LA position and to share the DfE program the LA is being pulled into because of the scale of the difficulties.  A presentation was shared with the meeting.


Jenny Lawrence spoke of the financial challenges corporately, saying that that it is widely reported in the media that the levels of inflation at 9% and expected to rise further, was having a significant effect on the LCC budget and the financial gap in the MTFS is expected to rise from £40m to £70m.  Therefore, immediate actions are taking place to look at where more savings can be found.  LCC as a relatively low funded authority will feel the hit more quickly than other areas.  In addition, the High Needs deficit is continuing to grow and the LCC have invested £25 million pounds to increase local specialist provision and try and stem the flow into Independent Specialist Schools.  Looking at the medium term with delays in savings and a need to work with an external partner the deficit could rise to £99 million.  National and Technical accounting changes will require the deficit will have to be covered by revenue which will mean service reductions.


Jenny said that funding alone is not a solution to the problem although part of the solution may have to come back to future school block transfers.  The level of EHCP requests in Leicestershire is much higher than other LA’s both nationally and in the East Midlands.


Jane Moore then spoke about the DfE position and the launch of the SEN Green Paper. The DFE have launched a 3 tiered intervention program.  The first tier being the Safety Valve where the DFf enter into rigid agreements with local authorities requiring specific actions take autonomy away from the LA and the schools. LCC are in the second tier, Delivering Better Value.  The DFE are offering delivery support diagnostics and support with implementation with a small grant of £40,000, full details of the support are currently under discussion and yet to be fully identified. LCC has done the diagnostic work the DfE are delivering in phase 1 already and are looking to jump straight into the implementation stage as the timing is now critical in order to avoid moving to a safety valve position. The third tier is support from the Education Skills and Funding Agency.


Jane Moore went on to talk about the work already being done to support the changes. There has been a 54% increase in requests for EHCPs from schools and parents.  Over half of this growth cannot be explained by population growth nor is it reflective of children requiring SEND support.  The LA is not funded per head so the block of money does not grow as EHCP numbers rise.  The SENA service has buckled under the weight of the workload and user satisfaction levels are at the lowest they have ever been.


There has been investment in local sufficiency with new SEMH and C&I places being made available and also investment in a new case management system with a self-serve element for parents and schools as increasing queries are adding to the workloads.


The Transforming SEND and Inclusion Program is already working on the findings of the diagnostic work and is looking at the whole system and why the disproportionate demand.


Alison Bradley then spoke about the Transforming SEND and Inclusion Program, talking of the notional SEND budget given to schools which is equivalent and that 38% of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 171.


Any other business.


There was no further business.


Date of next meeting.

Thursday 29 September, 2.00 pm via Teams


Thursday 29 September, 2.00 pm via Teams.