SEND Operations Partner
This is a permanent contract however the service can also be flexible in offering a fixed term contract or an internal secondment opportunity.
This position will initially, in line with current government guidance, be based from home, with an expectation of being home based for the foreseeable future. However, when government guidelines change the role may then revert to being office based, whilst retaining some flexible working options.
About the opportunity
Essex County Council has embarked upon a programme of change for provision and services with the ambition to profoundly improve the outcomes and life experiences of children and young people with SEND. Our vision is for a SEND system which identifies and assesses need at an earlier stage and which provides appropriate and impactful support without a high dependence on Essex County Council's statutory services.
The SEND Operations Partner will manage, motivate and develop the SEND Operations Co-ordinators within the Mid Essex quadrant, according to the vision for SEND in Essex, demonstrating initiative and leadership skills to effectively deliver the council's statutory duties in relation to the assessment and review of children/young people with SEND.
We are looking for a personable, reliable, and motivated individual with a thorough working knowledge of the SEND Code of Practice and associated legislation. You will be able to manage a complex caseload whilst representing Mid Essex SEND Operations on Working Groups and Essex County Council with external agencies and families.
- Lead a team of SEND Operations Co-ordinators and Assistants within Mid Essex, co-ordinating induction, training and development programmes and the allocation of work
- Manage the admissions to a small number of Specialist provisions
- Draft responses to complaints and queries from parents/carers, elected Members and MPs etc.
- Work with other colleagues within the Mid Quadrant, (i.e. Educational Psychologists, Inclusion Partners, Engagement Facilitators) including with the SEND Operations Lead to develop best practice and provide quality assurance of Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP).
- Ensure the team follow requirements in the SEND Code of Practice 2015, Essex Guidelines and maintain the CYP and their family at the heart of the process.
- Work with other SEND Operations staff in other quadrants (4 quadrants in total).
- Deliver the assessment and review process for children and young people with SEND, for a dedicated caseload within a quadrant.
- Responsible for securing appropriate educational provision (both within and out of the Authority) for all Essex CYP with an EHCP, within an agreed geographical area, in line with the SEND Code of Practice 2015 and legislative requirements.
- Working collaboratively with partners in Health and Social Care to ensure their participation in the EHCP process and support direct individual work for the most complex situations.
- Progressing and resolving complex situations around CYP including attendance at mediation and Way Forward meetings, with a particular emphasis on the needs of looked after children and children not accessing education.
- Preparing and presenting casework for submission to decision making panels.
- Contribute to the preparation of papers for complaints, tribunal cases, Ombudsman enquiries and responses to letters from parents, MPs and Members to support senior managers.
- Contribute to decision making processes within the quadrant, relating to initiation of EHCNAs, issuing of EHCPs and allocation of resources to EHCP.
Knowledge, skills and experience
- Educated to RQF level 4 or equivalent by experience.
- Evidence of excellent leadership and behavioural skills and management experience.
- Effective time management and prioritisation skills with the confidence to work autonomously and adapt quickly and effectively to changing circumstances/situations.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to build strong working relationships which are collaborative and engender delivery.
- Experience of successful dispute resolution through effective mediation and negotiation.
- Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills with an understanding of how to facilitate and mediate in situations which are perceived as challenging.
- Evidence of thorough knowledge of the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice 2015 and the authority's statutory responsibilities.
- Significant knowledge and experience of working with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and with their families including 'hard to reach' families.