Joint Local Area SEND Inspection in Lancashire
Decision Maker: Children's Services Scrutiny Committee
Decision status: Recommendations approved
Is Key decision?: No
The Chair welcomed David Graham, Head of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities; and Sally Richardson, Principal Educational Psychologist, to the meeting. County Councillor Mrs Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools; and John Readman, Interim Executive Director of Education and Children's Services, remained at the table.
The report presented explained that between 13 November and 17 November 2017, Ofsted and the CQC conducted a joint inspection of the local area of Lancashire to judge the effectiveness of the area in implementing the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms, as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.
As a result of the findings of the inspection, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector (HMCI) had determined that a written statement of action was required due to the significant areas of weakness in the local area's practice. HMCI had also determined that the local authority and the area's clinical commissioning groups were jointly responsible for submitting the written statement to Ofsted.
Comments and questions raised were:
· In terms of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) pathways, it was noted that some CCGs across the authority had pathways that were functioning and others that did not comply with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. This resulted in inaccurate identification and the needs of children and young people and their families not being met. The local authority was working on a strategy with the CCGs looking at collaborative commissioning.
· The SEND Team was working with the Communications Team looking at restructuring and improving its website around the local offer to make it more accessible.
· Prior to the inspection the SEND Team had signed up to a national survey that Lancashire would feed into. The Team was writing to parents of children with special educational needs, and the children, and health professionals to get feedback. This was an ongoing survey to see how the process was working. The team was also working with North West authorities to have quality assurance and audit of its plans.
· It was noted that a number of parents had reported issues around the transition experience for their children as they moved from mainstream primary schools to secondary schools.
· It was vital to have a vision for Lancashire SEND that was signed up to by parents and carers, by school leaders, by health and by the Local Authority.
i. The report and comments be noted.
ii. Areas identified from discussions be scheduled across both Children's Services and Education Scrutiny Committees work plans.
iii. A joint meeting of Children's Services and Education Scrutiny Committees be held on 11 April 2018.
Report author: Samantha Parker
Date of decision: 31/01/2018
Decided at meeting: 31/01/2018 - Children's Services Scrutiny Committee