Skip to main content

Surrey launch SEND 2020 programme

Surrey County Council has launched a major change programme with its partners to improve special educational needs and disability (SEND) services in Surrey.

We are doing this in response to the families, staff and partners who have told us that the system isn’t working as well as it should be for them. As a result, the programme, called SEND 2020, will involve working differently with our partners to transform SEND services.

New legislation (the Children and Families’ Act 2014), also requires us to adopt a new approach, and as a first step we have been listening to and collecting feedback from families.

The SEND 2020 vision

The vision for the overall programme is that children and young people are happy, healthy, safe and confident in their future. Linda Kemeny, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Educational Achievement provides political leadership for the programme and is the sponsor for the work.

The SEND Partnership Board, chaired by Julie Fisher, the county council's director for children's services, is made up of representatives from social care, education, health and families. It oversees the programme with a focus on our shared aim to improve the lives of children with SEND.

The SEND 2020 programme has four workstreams designed to:

  • transform the customer experience
  • rebuild the system
  • reshape the local offer
  • and develop inclusive practice.

Please read the SEND 2020 Development Plan to find out more about our plans to improve SEND services for children and young people in Surrey.

For more information download our one page strategy (PDF) or get involved by following SEND 2020 on LinkedIn or Facebook. Alternatively you can email us at

Update from the SEND Partnership Board

The SEND Partnership Board met on 4 February to review the progress of the SEND 2020 Programme and receive updates on ongoing work.

There were two key updates in relation to reshaping the local offer. One was focused on the development of three to four bids for free special schools. The first of these is anticipated to be ready for submission in early March.

The second looked at the findings from a recent visit to Hertfordshire County Council. The visit provided an opportunity to look at alternative structures, the success of devolved decision making and increased autonomy for local groups made up of headteachers, charities, the local authority and parents and carers.

The board also received a comprehensive update on the education, health and care plan (EHCP) transfer process and current performance. The board was pleased to see that Surrey is moving in the right direction and action is being taken to ensure we reach 60% of EHCPs being completed within the 20 week timescale by the end of April.

Also discussed was the progress made on our inspection preparation and self-evaluation. Areas of weakness were highlighted along with our planned actions to address these weaknesses within the SEND 2020 Programme.

The draft SEND Development Plan was well received and work will be completed to finalise the document by mid-March so that it can be shared more widely with staff, partners and providers. A summary version will be written in addition for families.

Finally, a project scope for sign off by the board in relation to development of the needs analysis to inform short breaks provision in Surrey was provided. The outcomes will inform a Cabinet paper in May.

Over the coming weeks we will be working hard to ensure the programme is well integrated with business as usual activity and improvements to ensure we have a complete overview of co-ordinated activity.

Next meeting - 28 April

To be discussed:

  • An understanding of how the Hertfordshire model would look and work in Surrey.
  • Evidence of ongoing support to mainstream schools in addition to the free school bids.
  • A presentation of robust modelling that will show the timescale that Surrey expects to be meeting the 90% target for EHCPs being completed.

Files available to download