Cllr Anne Jones, shadow portfolio holder for Children & Learning
Cllr Anne Jones, shadow portfolio holder for Children & Learning

published 23rd May 2019

Labour councillors in Southend have called for more ‘dynamism and ambition’, in the joint Statement of Action for Special Educational Needs and Disability provision.

Following the disappointing Inspection into Special Educational Needs and Disability provision in Southend, Southend Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have published a joint Statement of Action, setting out their way forward to improve services.

Cllr Anne Jones, Labour’s shadow portfolio holder for Children & Learning, says:

“The Statement of Action from SBC and the CCG is the absolute minimum that should be expected and the plans really require more dynamism and ambition.

“Under the Code of Practise, Partnership working, an accessible and realistic Local Offer and Education Health and Care plans, which are of good quality in the way they are written and the way they are delivered, are the foundation of ensuring that outcomes for children in this group rapidly improve. So it should not come as a surprise to see those set out. It is disappointing that the opportunity to build and expand on these primary responsibilities has not been seized.

“Waiting times for assessment and diagnosis are a source of great distress to affected families, and it’s of great concern that some services are not willing to put in the resources needed. Commitment is needed to recruitment of professionals across all disciplines to reduce waiting times.

“Parents want to see seamlessness between services. Whilst collaborative working may address some concerns, there remain gaps in communication and delivery, for example, in the area of Home to School transport.

“Ultimately, the lived experience of families is that they are fighting for provision from every service. It is clear that significant capital investment from central Government is required for Education, Health and other specialist services. It is imperative that we support families better.”

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