Childrens, Families and Lifelong Learning (CFLL) 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
  • Interpretation and Translation services
  • Advocacy services
  • Short Breaks and Personal Support providers
  • Early Help providers
  • Emotional wellbeing and Mental Health services
  • Youth Support services

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 in 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 to remain close to home, in their 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. This covers areas such as the Children, Families, Health Surrey contract and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health services for children and young people.
  • 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 Early Help and Domestic Abuse services. Early Help services seek to provide children, young people and families with support at the earliest opportunity to reduce the need for greater intervention in the future. Domestic Abuse services seek to support survivors and their children in building resilience to reach 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, providing financial/business advice (forecasting and modelling sustainable provision), property and leasing/tendering for childcare providers, setting up a business and commissioning of Early Years 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 via: cflc.commissioningteam@surreycc.gov.uk.

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 "Gateway to Resources" team 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

Between March 2020 and July 2021 Surrey County Council had declared a major incident due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Surrey and the operations of directorates and provision of the Council.

Surrey County Council Commissioning continues to work within the current guidance from central Government and Surrey County Council in relation to the pandemic and recovery phase and continues to review working practices and procedures in line with official advice. In-person visits to our providers are taking place and we continue to observe social distancing measures and safety advice to mitigate risk.

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

Request a fee increase or uplift

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: