SEND Action Plan Revealed
Back in late 2016 an investigation from both Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission found the SEND provision in Suffolk to be unsatisfactory. As Judith Mobbs, assistant director for inclusion and skills stated, ‘There were too many children and families getting a poor offer.’ This investigation led to an in-depth review of the provision and the formulation of a priority plan, which runs to 2020. Areas of focus include Outreach Services and Easing The Move Into Adulthood.
In terms of Outreach, county council data showed that previously half of all youngsters whose teachers/parents had applied for an EHCP were turned down without any advice or guidance. From the end of January a new project, the SEND assessment centre programme, will be put into action (as a phased launch). The programme will see teachers, health professionals, education psychologists, therapists and social care workers working with the school and child in person, assessing all areas of need and developing a ‘coherent plan at an early stage.’
A guide has now been published to help youngsters with SEND make that transition into adulthood more smoothly and with support and information. Judith Mobbs says ‘We have been looking at how we can introduce a plan much earlier. You will see we are looking at how we can introduce planning for adulthood from 13, and we have appointed a moving into adulthood lead.’
Of the new Action Plan Judith Mobbs says ‘For me, I was not interested in putting a veneer of apparent change on the surface- we wanted to change things fundamentally to create a lasting, better progress.’
Anne Humphreys, co-chair of Suffolk Parent Carer Network (SPCN) said ‘The work around early intervention and particularly the assessment centres, will be vital in ensuring that children and young people who are currently unsupported, will be able to receive the support they desperately need.
“However, whilst a lot of strategic work has taken place, we know that the lived experience of the majority of families has not yet improved and this was shown by our 2018 annual survey.’
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