Introduced by DfE in 2020-21 for those local authorities with the greatest financial challenges. Additional Safety Valve agreements have been made since the programme started.
Introduced in 2021-22 as an optional programme providing dedicated support and funding to 55 local authorities – chosen based on those facing the greatest financial challenges after those authorities that have already been invited to join the Safety Valve Intervention Programme.
Tailored support and challenge depending on the financial position of the local authority. All local authorities who are not on the Safety Valve or DBV SEND programmes will be contacted by the ESFA. Advice from the ESFA will draw on learning from existing programmes and relevant research conducted by the department.
To make a lasting improvement to outcomes for children and young people with SEND, local areas need to work out the root causes of their challenges and their opportunities to improve - this is done through a 'diagnostic', which is at the heart of Phase One of the DBV in SEND programme.
Prior to the DBV in SEND programme, participating local authorities have already worked extensively with their local partners, and this work will be built upon in the diagnostic.
Local stakeholder engagement (including with parents and carers, with teachers from schools and colleges, and with health and social care colleagues) will be vital to ensure everyone has fed into the plan and has bought into the outcomes the local area wants to achieve together. In Phase One, Newton/CIPFA will support authorities to lead this engagement by providing communications tools, using participatory workshop methods, and where appropriate and asked by the authority, joining stakeholder meetings.
Schools forums will be consulted as part of the diagnostic phase. It is also expected that local Parent Carer Forums will be involved in the diagnostic phase of the programme.
Further activities involving partners and stakeholders across the system will be completed in the remaining diagnostic work and in the transition into the implementation phase (Phase Two) in each local area. When it comes to developing implementation plans and deciding what changes to take forward, it is expected that each participating local authority will do this in close conjunction with its local partners.
In Phase Two, there are various ways in which system partners could be involved. For example one local area established a 'system leadership group' with education, early years and other partner representatives; held an ‘engagement week’ to understand views and perspectives across the system, including a live virtual event with over 200 attendees; and established 'design groups' across different workstreams to foster co-creation between education providers, parents and the local authority.
Newton Europe, in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), is working with the Department for Education (including SEND Advisors) to deliver Phase One. Newton works as a transformation and improvement partner to local authorities and CIPFA is the local government accounting standard setter in the UK. Between them, they have worked with hundreds of public sector organisations, particularly local authorities and have a thorough understanding of children’s services and the SEND agenda.
The Phase One approach is one that is: