Hull City Council and Hull CCG have acknowledged the findings of a recent inspection into the city’s special educational needs and /or disabilities (SEND) provision.
In a joint statement Hull City Council and NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (Hull CCG) have committed to a written statement of action to take on board action required by Ofsted and CQC as highlighted in the report findings.
It says: “We take these findings extremely seriously and acknowledge that change needs to take place in the short and longer term. This process has already started.
“We would like to reassure all children and young people with SEND, and their parents and carers that we have a new team committed to raising standards. We are working together with the Hull Parents’ Forum to improve services.
“Our aspiration remains that all children in this city get the right help at the right time.”
The report highlights exceptional work with the Hull Parents’ Forum and all parties will continue to work with the Forum to capitalise in improving services across the city.
Laura Jones from the Hull Parents Forum, said: “Hull Parents Forum would like to express their gratitude to all parent/carers who were involved during the Inspection to give their views to Ofsted/CQC. Parents are aware of the issues and the Hull Parents’ Forum is committed to working together to be a critical friend to Hull City Council /CCG ensuring the parental voice is central in addressing the areas of weaknesses identified in the report and improving SEND services in Hull.”
In the report that was issued to the Council and Hull CCG today (14 December, 2017), inspectors praised local SEND services, acknowledging a range of strengths, including:
- the delivery of early years provision in a joined up way leading to improved outcomes for children with SEND
- the involvement of children and young people in the development of Child And Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), which has reduced waiting times significantly
- the high quality short breaks service
- the highly effective specialist continence service contributing well to children and young people’s independence and quality of life
- young adults aged 16-25 being effectively supported through high-quality learning programmes such as post 16 providers such as Pathway Plus, and East Riding College, an innovative partnership with Siemens and three special schools
- children, young people and families access a range of high quality services, that are highly valued from the local KIDS charity
- children and young people being fully involved in activities linked to Hull UK City of Culture 2017
Children and young people also told inspectors that they feel safe and well supported in Hull, and they feel confident to speak with a trusted adult.
However the findings make clear that there are a number of areas with good practice and services but this is inconsistent and improvements to the accessibility of services are needed.
Areas for improvement include:
- strategic management and governance, a lack of strategic planning and self-evaluation
- assessing children’s needs in a timely and accurate way
- knowledge gap for parents on how they access services, which leads to a weak understanding of the resources available
- lack of a formalised Designated Medical Officer (DMO) and no Designated Clinical Officer for SEND currently in post was noted as having a negative impact of the development of health services for children and young people with SEND
Councillor Phil Webster, Portfolio Holder for Learning, Skills and Safeguarding Children, said: “We take on board the findings of the report and the council, by working with Hull CCG and local partners are determined to address the findings that have been highlighted to us within this inspection in order to improve services and outcomes.
“It is encouraging to see areas of strengths, especially highlighting the strong commitment and the efforts of frontline staff to support local families and improve the lives of children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities.
“We are confident that we will improve and take the service forward in the future.”
Visiting the city between 9 and 13 October 2017, Inspectors from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted a joint inspection of Hull and spoke with children and young people, their parents and carers about their experience of the services they receive as well as the local authority and CCG officers. They visited a range of providers and spoke to leaders, staff and governors about how they were implementing the SEND reforms set out in the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice (2014).
Work has already commenced on the joint Written Statement of Action and this will be published soon.
A copy of the report is available on the Ofsted website here.