Supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and providing the best services we can for them are key priorities, say partners in Leicestershire.
Service providers will draft a plan of action in a bid to boost and improve support to young people in the county.
The pledge to make further improvements follows an inspection of the area’s SEND offer by OFSTED and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The main findings of the report identified a great many strengths, such as the way partners work together to identify and meet the needs of children and their families, the value parents put on the county’s specialist educational units and special schools, and the range of health and leisure services available to young people with SEND.
There were two areas for improvement: the way education and health care (EHC) plans are assessed, planned and monitored, and that a clearly defined joint commissioning strategy needed to be drawn up, along with implementation of a redeveloped neurodevelopmental pathway. Work on both is already underway.
Leicestershire County Council and the Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), responsible for health services, will now have to submit a written statement of action, explaining how they will address these issues.
We work very hard to support our children and young people with SEND and the inspectors recognised that we have made a determined effort to implement disability and special educational needs reforms that were introduced back in 2014.
As with most areas in the country, we’ve been asked to produce an action plan to outline how we’ll make further improvements.
While we have made headway in some areas, we do acknowledge that changes and developments still need to be made and we will carefully consider the feedback that has been given to us. The inspection was an opportunity for us to focus on improvements, and this has already started.
Our action plan will be robust: improving the way we plan, monitor and deliver education and health care plans will be a real focus. SEND is a real priority for us. This is reflected in our SEND Strategy which includes our ambitious £30m plans to build new schools and specialist units in the county.Person:Councillor Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and families
The NHS is committed to improving the lives of local children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Working with the local authority, we will ensure that improvements are made which support the physical and emotional wellbeing of local children and their families. We will also build on the good practice highlighted in the report and engage closely with families ensuring their experiences influence the way we provide services and better meet their needs.Person:Caroline Trevithick, Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Performance, LLR CCGs
The inspection was carried out between February 3-7 of this year and the report was published today (Friday, May 15). The council and CCG will now have 70 days to prepare an action plan to address the identified issues. Inspectors will revisit in approximately 18 months to measure progress.