Dear parents and carers, children and young people, friends and colleagues,
Following our inspection visit from Ofsted in October we have now received the report which we would like to share with you.
Please note however, that despite the report being dated the 1 December 2021, this was received at 4pm yesterday, 7 December 2021. The report will be published on the official Ofsted website on Tues 14 December, or please see the report below.
The purpose of the visit was ‘to judge the effectiveness of the area in implementing the special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014’.
The findings in the report outline the many strengths that we jointly deliver, both from an educational and health (CCG) perspective. The inspectors are fully in support of our SEND Development Plan which outlines the same key areas that the inspectors have in their summary which they would like us to jointly improve upon.
As a consequence, the area is required to produce and submit a Written Statement of Action (WSOA). The four key points, which they would like to see us improve upon, are as follows and are already integral to our Development Plan. They are as follows:
1. The sufficiency of appropriate school places for those with Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs and those who have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
2. Families’ lived experiences of the Education Health and Care (EHC) process including the timeliness of Annual Reviews.
3. Weak communication and poor relationships between the authority with parents and carers, young people, local voluntary groups and those groups who represent children and young people.
4. Poor outcomes for children and young people at SEND support who attend mainstream schools.
Together we will continue to work towards achieving these goals.
Eoin Rush, director of children, families and schools at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, acknowledged there had been significant challenges across the SEND system for a number of years but was heartened that Ofsted had endorsed the 10-point SEND Development and Improvement Plan, as well as placing faith in the current leadership team.
He said: “This was a thorough inspection of the SEND services and I want to acknowledge that some of our children and young people, families and carers have not had a good experience with us historically, and for that I am sincerely sorry.
“As local area leaders we recognise there is much to do to rebuild trust, to ensure we have effective and transparent co-production processes, so all partners feel listened to and our children and young people, parents and carers feel well-supported.
“It was encouraging to know the inspectors agreed with the areas of weakness we had already identified and supported the current leadership team as well as giving their backing to the SEND Development and Improvement Plan as the way for us to make progress.
“The plan, which was unanimously approved and endorsed by members across the political landscape at a Full Council meeting in October, includes more specialist training for frontline staff and continued local investment in the development of new provision to help ensure children and young people can have their needs met locally.
“While significant improvements have been made over the last two years, there is still a lot of work to be done and that will not happen overnight.
“The level of funding in the high needs system nationally remains a significant challenge but the council will continue to lobby the Government to address the funding gap for SEND services.
“We are committed to delivering this plan effectively and in a timely manner, so all children and young people are valued and know their outcomes are important to us.
Paula South, interim chief operating officer for East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We welcome the findings from the recent inspection and recognise that, whilst there are some encouraging signs, much more work is needed to improve local SEND services.
“We want children and young people, and their families, across East Riding of Yorkshire to receive the best possible experience when accessing these services, and we remain committed to working alongside our colleagues within the local authority, schools and voluntary sector on the local SEND Development and Improvement Plan to fully address the issues as set out in the Written Statement of Action.”
The inspection will involve children and families, schools and settings, all parts of the Children and Families Directorate alongside partners across the Health Sector and Adult Services.
The key contact for the Area SEND inspection within the Local Authority is Ronnie Hartley Head of Children and Young People’s Specialist Services.
Director Integrated Commissioning & Transformation
Assistant Director Mental Health, Learning Disability, Maternity & 0-25
Assistant Director Continuing Health Care/Complex Cases
Attached is some useful information the EYPCF have produced for parent carers about the SEND Ofsted inspection.