Herefordshire Council and Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have been praised by inspectors for improving the support for children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities.
Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out a joint inspection between 26 and 30 September, to judge the county’s effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities (SEND), in line with the Children and Families Act 2014.
As part of the inspection, inspectors spoke with children and young people with SEND and their families and council, CCG and school representatives along with visiting a range of education providers to see how they’re implementing the special educational needs reforms.
A summary of the main findings, were:
- There is a clear understanding of partners strengths and weaknesses, along with a strong sense of purpose and aspiration to improve outcomes for children and young people who have special educational needs and / or disabilities
- The child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) is of a very high quality
- The children and young people who spoke with inspectors indicated that they’re happy, safe and well supported and their independence and aspirations are being well developed
- Specialist education provision is of a high quality, although the progress of SEND pupils is not as rapid as other pupils within the county
- Education, health and care plans are timely and have a clear framework, although the health and social care information is not consistently broad enough
- The health needs of young children are identified quickly and the healthy child programme is well delivered
- There are unacceptable waiting lists for some community therapies, which mean many children’s needs remain unassessed, so they’re unable to receive timely support
Councillor Jonathan Lester, Cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing, said: “We are proud of the positive work we do with children and young people who have special educational needs and / or disabilities across the county and that our achievements have been recognised by Ofsted and the CQC.
“Partner organisations have put a lot of hard work into implementing the special educational needs reforms and the inspection has recognised the strengths we have in Herefordshire, alongside the areas we need to further improve. We will continue to work together with our partners to take forward the inspection’s findings, but at the heart of all of this, is our collective strong sense of purpose and aspiration to improve outcomes.
“I would like to personally thank everyone across the county who works with children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities, for their commitment and dedication to ensuring they are fully supported, safe and have a great start in life.”
Simon Hairsnape, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s accountable officer, said: “The inspection highlighted a number of strengths, including our child and adolescent mental health service, education, health and care plans and healthy child programme.
“The CCG and council are grateful to all the children, parents, carers, staff and education providers for taking such a full and active part in the inspection; their input was invaluable.”
To find out more about the full findings, please read the joint local area SEND inspection in Herefordshire letter on the Ofsted website.