The Sub-Committee received a report that provided an update on the actions required following the Ofsted/Care Quality Commission inspection of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).
The report detailed the action plan that would be monitored by the SEND Executive Board which comprised of partners, parent representatives, schools and representatives from health and the local council.
The SEND Strategy was agreed by the Health and Wellbeing Board in September 2018 and incorporated all of the priorities and areas of improvement already identified by the service and its partners. The Strategy’s headline priorities, areas for improvement and progress on implementation were:
· To establish a SEND Executive Board to manage and monitor implementation of SEND reforms, putting children and young people at the centre of planning and to develop “co-production” - The Board was operational, with parents and partners fully engaged as members of the Board and would meet approximately six times a year to monitor progress.
· To Implement Havering’s High Needs Review and Strategy - The Strategy had been approved and detailed the Council’s provision for children, young people and their families; and how the Council would ensure that sufficient provision could be adapted to meet changing needs and demands.
· To review and identify the therapy services on offer to those children and young people with SEND, and to ensure they were fit for purpose, properly resourced and any gaps identified.
· To continue to develop, maintain and keep the local offer up to date, to ensure it was responsive to their needs - The work was in progress, with further development planned for late 2018.
· To establish an EHC hub, an interactive web-based platform to make EHC assessment and planning process more efficient and transparent - The hub had concluded a pilot phase and had been introduced across all schools from September 2018.
· To develop a single joint commissioning process which would inform the commissioning of services for those children and young people with SEND.
· A complex needs panel had been established to ensure children with the most complex health and educational needs were considered earlier in the process.
· To commission a new free school which would meet the needs of children and young people in the borough. The provider and site had been located and was planned to open in September 2021.
· To deliver a programme of new provision to see a better distribution across the borough and throughout both primary and secondary schools - One new Primary ARP was planned to open at Easter 2019 and another in September 2020. Consultations were taking place with two secondary schools to explore having ARPs in their schools. A Member was of the opinion that the outlined plans were not smart enough; that there was a gap in what was funded and what was not funded and there was concern that the 60 new places would be inadequate to meet current requirements.
· To improve the quality of Education, Health and Care needs assessments and plans, ensuring that they paint an accurate picture and produced in a timely manner – Ofsted had expressed concern regarding the processing of Education, Health & Care Plans and Members were reassured that the EHC hub developments and the refining of the EHC Panel to become more efficient and focussed would alleviate any concerns.
· To provide an excellent transition to ensure that every young person with SEND and their parents/carers have a smooth and positive experience of transition - The adulthood workers within Local Authority disability services. were working with parents and young people to assess eligibility for Adult Social Care support and worked with education providers to ensure a co-ordinated support plan are in place that build upon the aspirations of the young person.
· A SEND co-production event was held in October 2018, with a focus on better ‘co-producing’ services. The event was attended by parents, school representatives and statutory and voluntary partners. It was anticipated that there would be further similar events in the future and in the long-term for services to be commissioned using co-production principles.
The Sub-Committee noted the progress made to implement the detailed SEND action plan following the CQC/Ofsted inspection of March 2018, including the establishment of the Executive Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Board (comprising of health, local authority and partner agencies including schools and parents).