Ofsted praise for SEND services
An Ofsted report highlights Gloucestershire's achievements in delivering services to children and young people with SEND.
Gloucestershire County Council, local NHS services and other partners have been recognised in a recent Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection. The inspection reviewed local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) services for children and young people.
Many strengths were praised in the independent inspection, particularly the "clear vision of education, health and social care staff working together as a strong team to provide high quality services for children and young people".
Other strengths included; SEND in babies and young children are identified early on; Parents, children and young people are involved in the development of their support plans and reviews; and representatives from the parent/carer forum are also influential in providing support for families.
Inspectors also noted how the Local Offer, an online directory of support, signposts families to appropriate information and support and that young people have access to services such as occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
The council's 'supported internship' programme was recognised as being particularly effective at preparing young disabled people for work. It was noted that young people have higher aspirations and expectations because they are involved in planning their future.
The report also suggests a few areas for development, all of which the council and its partners were aware of and already working on. This included giving some families more help to access the support that's available, and to ensure that all parents feel fully involved in and happy with decisions.
Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and families, said "The inspection has recognised how hard the council and its partners have worked to implement recent policy changes and improve things for children and young people with SEND in Gloucestershire.
"We also welcome the feedback about where we need to improve. These were areas that we were aware needed development and there are already plans in place.
"I'd like to say thank you to all the staff, parents, carers and children who took part in the inspection."
Mary Hutton, Accountable Officer from Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said "We are pleased that the inspection recognised the hard work that has gone into improving the way that all of our local services work together, and the good work of individual staff and teams.
"We recognise the areas where we need to continue to develop, and I am confident that this work will take place."