The Public Sector News Network
Our Partners:
Essex County Council
England, Essex, Colchester
Apply Now

SEND Operations Lead

This position will initially, in line with current government guidance, be based from home rather than the office. If / when government guidelines change the role may then revert to being office based, whilst retaining some flexible working options.

Candidates must be available for an immediate start.

Please note – previous candidates need not apply, thank you.

Job Purpose

Essex County Council (ECC) has embarked upon a programme of change for provision and services with the ambition to profoundly improve the outcomes and life experience of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Our vision is for a SEND system which identifies and assesses need at an early stage and which provides appropriate and support to bring about improved outcomes for children and young people without such high dependence on Essex County Council’s statutory services.

As SEND Operations Lead you will manage and develop the SEND Operations service, working collaboratively across the quadrant education leadership team, central education services and with health and social care teams. You will lead effective delivery of ECC’s statutory duties, as outlined in the Childrens and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice 2015, regarding the assessment and review processes for children and young people with SEND, in one of four quadrants.

With a Level 4 SEN award or equivalent and evidence of the successful management of SEND and statutory assessment processes, the successful candidate will also have a deep understanding of Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice 2015.

Key Accountabilities

Lead the SEND Operations team to ensure efficient and effective delivery of the council’s statutory duties in relation to the assessment and review process for children and young people (CYP) with SEND, within a quadrant.

Responsible for the admission process for all children and you people with an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), into appropriate placements, whilst ensuring effective use of public resources.

Responsible for the execution of ECC’s statutory duties in relation to processes and placements of CYP with EHCPs, including those who are not in a school placement, supporting the transition plans between key stages and where placement breakdown necessitates a change of provision.

Influencing key partners including, health services, social care services and educational settings, to ensure their contribution to the EHCP process and the co-production of associated paperwork, taking into account the views and aspirations of parents, carers and CYP. Ensuring delivery of the future vision for school/setting led SEND.

Responsible for analysing data and identifying trends to inform and influence decisions relating to EHCP assessments, reviews, and future provision development, including resource allocation.

Responsible for the complaints procedure within a quadrant; representing the Council in communications with head teachers, governors, elected members, MPs, other agencies and parents.

Responsible for ensuring casework, including mediation, is efficiently and effectively managed, resolving sensitive and contentious individual cases, e.g. following up letters of complaint by the Ombudsman, DfES, Judicial Reviews and Child Protection matters. Ensure continuous improvement because of lessons learned.

Responsible for preparatory work, writing case statements, negotiation and liaison with parents and schools regarding SEND Tribunals, seeking wherever possible to de-escalate cases. Work in partnership with the SEND Tribunal team and legal representatives to make recommendations to senior leaders regarding possible case outcomes.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience

Educated to RFQ Level 6 (Bachelor’s degree) or equivalent by experience and possesses Level 4 of the SEN awards.

Evidence of continuing professional development and expert knowledge of the Children and Families Act 2014, SEND Code of Practice 2015 and the local authority’s statutory responsibilities in relation to assessment and review of children and young people with SEND.

Evidence of successful management of SEND services, statutory assessment and review processes.

Evidence of forging effective working relationships with external partners including schools, settings, health and social care colleagues, as well as parents and parental representatives.

Evidence of effectively and sensitively dealing with a wide range of people regarding difficult and complex issues, including the use of effective negotiation and providing successful challenge and support to educational settings and other agencies.

Excellent leadership and behavioural skills with the ability to build and lead a diverse team and work collaboratively across a leadership team to achieve shared goals.

Significant experience in undertaking quality assurance, review and evaluation procedures, including the effective use of data to determine improvement.

As part of employment with Essex County Council should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please visit:

Essex County Council is proud to offer an excellent benefits package to all its employees. For more information please use the following link:

Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.

We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity is key to our success.