Childrens, Families, Lifelong Learning and Culture (CFLC) Commissioning Service

What we do

Children's Commissioners at Surrey County Council play a key role in designing and commissioning innovative, safe and outcome focused solutions, making the best use of resources and ensuring our children and young people are at the heart of our commissioning plans. Surrey County Council's commissioning also manages the external market in the county – including, but not limited, to:

  • Independent, Non-Maintained Specialist Schools (INMSS)
  • External Independent Fostering Agency Provision, Children's Residential homes and Supported Accommodation/Independent Living
  • Short Breaks Providers
  • Early Help Providers

Our Vision for Commissioning in Surrey

Our ambition is that organisations and communities work together to use all the resources available to create better outcomes, as we work towards our shared Community Vision for Surrey in 2030.

In support of this, we will strengthen the consistency and quality of our commissioning practice across the system, so that we are more able to work together to enable the sustainable changes that are needed.

We believe this will help us transform Surrey, fundamentally changing the way that public services work with each other and with the residents and communities they exist to serve. It will enable us to do more of what really matters, whilst also making the difficult decisions that are needed to deliver a sustainable offer into the future.

The strategies we support

Surrey County Council's Commissioning service seeks to support the following strategies:

As a service, we seek to work together with our partners to support families, children and young people close to home, in local communities, so they can achieve the best possible outcomes.

Who we work with

In Children's Commissioning, the service works very closely with our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) case workers, social workers, SEND admissions, School Place Planning, Community Services, voluntary, community and faith sector (VCFS) providers, Procurement, Finance, Health and Social Care colleagues and other key professionals both in-house and in the wider sector.

Areas covered

  • Health Commissioning, including working jointly with our Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) partners. These cover areas such as the Children, Families, Health Surrey contract and Child, Adolescent and Mental Health Services
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Services and Education, including managing independent non-maintained specialist settings, SEND Transport, SEND Key Stage Transfer Admissions and working with School Place Planning to commission school provision. The service supports the development of the annual SEND Sufficiency Strategy, to ensure all children and young people can access the right provision, at the right time, in their local community.
  • Corporate Parenting, including managing the external children's residential, independent fostering agency (IFA) and Supported Accommodation Market (SA), developing the Corporate Parenting Sufficiency Strategy, and developing other services such as Forensic Testing, Independent Assessments or independent visitors to Children's homes.
  • Family Resilience including Domestic Abuse Services. This supports domestic abuse survivors and their children to build resilience, and leads to independence. It seeks to facilitate the shortest, and/or most effective route to safety and freedom for each survivor based on their individual situation and the resources available to them.
  • Early Years including Setting up sustainable early learning and childcare, Financial/business advice (forecasting and modelling sustainable provision), Property and leasing/tendering for childcare providers, Setting up a business, Commissioning of Early Years and Family Resilience packages, Monitoring of commissioned packages
  • Gateway to Resources, including the quality assurance of external residential children's home provision, external independent fostering agency (IFA) provision and Supported Accommodation and securing placements for children in care.

Contact us

If you have a query or concern, identified any gaps with Surrey's local offer, or would like to have a conversation with us about looking to create provision within Surrey, please contact us on:

Commissioning Service newsletter

The Children's commissioning team publish a regular commissioning team newsletter for providers and our residents.

Children's Cross Regional Arrangements Group

The Children's Cross Regional Arrangements Group (CCRAG) is a partnership consisting of Local Authorities from the East, South East and South West Regions of England who are committed to working together to support the sourcing, contracting, monitoring and annual fee negotiations for children's placements in independent and non-maintained special schools and children's residential care homes.

Surrey's Commissioning team - called "Gateway to Resources" utilise the CCRAG database to source placements. You can create a free provider page to update vacancies, provide key documentation such as safeguarding policy, fee rates or description of the service provided.

COVID-19 and its impact on commissioned services

A major incident was declared in Surrey on Thursday 19 March due to the COVID-19 epidemic affecting Surrey and the operations of directorates and provision of by Surrey County Council. Since that time Government has been reviewing and amending guidance in relation to COVID-19, including social distancing and work regimes.

Surrey County Council Commissioning has been working within this guidance and is currently reviewing working practices and procedures to meet official advice. This includes reviewing visits to our providers to ensure we continue to meet the requirements in relation to COVID-19, social distancing and working practices.

With the second wave now with us and the latest introduction of tiers 1, 2 and 3 we recognise that this continues to be a difficult and uncertain time for our providers.

The Commissioning Service will continue to work with our providers and contractors to support them and meet the requirements of contracts. We will ensure that conversations, meetings, reviews and audits continue to be made in a timely and appropriate fashion and we will continue to work in line with Government and local COVID-19 guidance.

If you have any concerns these should be directed to your relevant commissioner within our service by e-mailing, who will be available for guidance and support.

Request a fee increase or uplift

Children's commissioning are changing the way fee increase requests or proposals are made. As a local authority, Surrey County Council has a duty to ensure we utilise our resources effectively so that we can obtain value for money for our residents, as well as deliver the best possible outcomes for our pupils.

We will review uplift requests where there is clear and reasonable justification for the required level of uplift, and evidence that providers face unsustainable cost increases after making significant organisational efficiencies. If you wish to request a fee uplift, you can do so via the commissioning fee uplift form.

Submit a termly data return (Non-Maintained and Independent Settings)

All independent, non-maintained special schools and colleges must submit a termly return, detailing key information for each Surrey County Council (SCC) learner.

Our frameworks – provide services for Surrey County Council

Surrey County Council has several different frameworks that providers of services – ranging from social care provision, to SEND provision – can join to provide services to Surrey residents. You can view our Looked After Children' Sufficiency Plan to find out more.

Interested? If so, please apply via one of the following links below: