Dispatch district councillor welcomes Ofsted praise for SEND support at Nottingham City Council

A Bulwell Forest councillor at Nottingham City Council has welcomed a positive Ofsted inspection into the way the authority supports SEND children.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 6:42 pm

Coun Cheryl Barnard (Lab) portfolio holder for children and young people said she was ‘very pleased’ inspectors had recognised efforts in Nottingham to improve support for people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

And she added it would continue to build on the positives and take on board Ofsted recommendations for where the authority could improve.

A five-day inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission was carried out last November and involved speaking to children and young people with SEND, parents and carers and council and local NHS officers.

Coun Cheryl Barnard has welcomed the positive Ofsted comments

Inspectors also visited mainstream and special schools and concluded that education, health and social care leaders and professionals share a common ambition for Nottingham to be a truly inclusive place to live.

They found that local leaders were quick to respond to SEND reforms, undertaking significant and timely actions when they were introduced and putting an appropriate strategy in place to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND.

A coherent plan has been developed to support children and young people with SEND to prepare for adulthood, identifying what should happen at each stage of a child or young person’s school life, inspectors found.

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This includes a partnership with ‘Futures’ which strongly supports young people with SEND to transfer from schools into further education, employment or training.

However, the inspection report also identifies areas for improvement such as communicating the support services available and plans in place to parents, carers and children and young people.

Inspectors noted that some children and young people with SEND wait too long for assessments to identify their needs and that there is no collaborative and consistent quality assurance process for education, health and care (EHC) plans.

They also found that social and recreational opportunities in the community are limited and there are gaps in provision for short breaks.

Coun Barnard, said: “Ensuring children with special needs and disabilities have the opportunity to thrive and reach their potential is incredibly important and so I am very pleased with the outcome of this inspection.

"It recognises that local leadership have a clear and accurate understanding of services for children with SEND and reflects a strongly inclusive approach across partners.

“Inspectors also identify some very good partnership working with schools and early years, improving outcomes and opportunities for young people and some innovative approaches through our Routes to Inclusion work and to address mental health and wellbeing.

“We will take on board the areas for development and work with our partners to further strengthen the support that’s in place for children and young people with SEND and their families and carers.”