To consider a report from the Interim Executive Director – People (copy enclosed).
Members considered a report from the Interim Executive Director – People regarding the outcomes of the inspection of local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) arrangements. In previous sessions the Board had scrutinised the SEND Self-Assessment, the Ofsted report and the action plan in response to the report. The Written Statement of Action was a required response to the recommendations from the inspection and was approved by Ofsted on 18 October 2019. The Senior Manager - Partnerships and People Improvement and the Area Service Manager – Inclusion gave a presentation on the progress of the SEND Improvement emphasising the plan of work. The key points of the presentation were as follows:-
· Working Group 1 – Understanding of Need
· Working Group 2 – Commissioning
· Working Group 3 – Engagement and Co-production
· Working Group 4 – Preparation for Adulthood
· Working Group 5 – Emotional Health and Wellbeing
· Working Group 6 – SEN Support
· What are the risks to delivery?
· Next Steps
· Next Steps – DfE & NHSE Quarterly Monitoring
The Senior Manager - Partnerships and People Improvement began by explaining the scope of the Written Statement of Action in addressing the 9 areas of need highlighted in Ofsted’s report. It is explained to the Board that the service would now be monitored on the delivery of its commitments on a quarterly basis by the Department of Education (DfE) and NHS England. The first formal monitoring visit was due to take place on 6 February 2020. Before the first formal visit, the service would be required to provide detailed updates on the progress in each area of the written statement. Members heard how a particular focus was on collecting evidence to show the real-world impact of the service and the lived experience of children and young people with SEND.
Members were pleased to hear that the service had created a condensed ‘family friendly’ version of the Written Statement of Action which was to be launched to improve accessibility for parents, carers and young people.
The Senior Manager explained that role of the SEND Improvement Board was to oversee and monitor the progress of the service in this area and to challenge the working groups to drive improvement.
A SEND Project Manager had been appointed, pending pre-employment checks, and members were told that this would go some way in mitigating risk regarding capacity which had been discussed in previous meetings of the Board.
The Area Service Manager – Inclusion provided members with details of the Working Groups and began by explaining how Working Group 1 had been formed to provide a joint strategic assessment into how to address the areas of need and would feed into the other Working Groups.
Members praised the aspiration of the report and discussed the need for central government investment in SEND. The Area Service Manager – Inclusion explained to members that the national review of the code of practice is expected to go ahead in 2020 after being put on hold because of the 13 December General Election. Officers assured members that they will continue to look for the best possible ways to provide services within the available resources.
Members asked for officers and the Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services to provide further information on the transition of Young People and Care Leavers with SEND into Adult’s Services and how this will be addressed through Working Groups. It was AGREED that a response be drafted and that this be circulated to the members of the Board.
A discussion took place regarding further engagement between the SEND Improvement Board, its Working Groups and the members of the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Children and Young People. It was AGREED that an item be tabled at the January meeting of the SEND Improvement Board asking for the Scrutiny Advisory Board – Children and Young People to be represented on each of the SEND Working Groups.
RESOLVED that, members note the contents of the report.