Work carried out across Bath and North East Somerset to improve the support given to young people with Special Educational Needs and disabilities and their families has been praised by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
A team of inspectors visited Bath and North East Somerset in March and spoke with children and young people with Special Educational Needs and disabilities (SEND), parents and carers, council and NHS staff. They visited schools, nurseries, health services and other providers serving the area which are implementing reforms to SEND provision.
Their inspection report published today reflects positively on the work being carried out locally.
The report highlights:
- The determination of the local council and CCG leadership team in providing the best for children and young people with SEND. The inspectors say this has ensured a solid foundation for the provision of effective services and continuous improvement.
- The effectiveness of collaborative working and joint commissioning enabling barriers to be overcome so that children, young people and their families receive an offer that meets their education, health and care needs.
- The positive working relationships between front-line practitioners which contribute to improvements in the support provided.
- The effectiveness of working together with children, young people and their families to create services which meet their needs.
- The improvements made in the timeliness and clarity of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.
- The accessibility of information, advice and support.
- The effective early identification of complex needs in babies.
- The effective early identification of young people with speech, language and communication needs and those with autism spectrum disorder.
- The provision of good links which enable young people with learning disabilities to gain the skills they need to move into employment, such as the council’s Project Search programme. It provides structured work placements and classroom learning with the aim of securing paid employment at the end of the year long programme.
Areas the inspectors suggested for further development include making better use of EHC plans, making on-line information for families more user-friendly, improving the consistency of inclusive practice across all schools, and ongoing work to close the gaps in educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.
Mike Bowden, Bath & North East Somerset Council corporate director, said: “Although this type of inspection provides a narrative report rather than a grading, it is fantastic to hear that the majority of parents and carers as well as children and young people themselves, have had such good experiences of local services.”
Dr Ian Orpen, chair of the CCG said: “The inspection findings reflect very positively on the day to day work of a large number of front-line staff across a range of education, health and council services and the wider team.
Over the last few years they have worked together to effectively implement SEND reforms to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families. We are delighted their hard work has been recognised. We also welcome the inspectors’ suggestions for where we can improve further to ensure a consistently excellent approach and the best possible outcomes for every family.”