A message from Allan Cadzow, Corporate Director for Children and Young People
26 May 2021
Dear Colleagues, Parents and Carers,
We are very aware that we have not been able to confirm specialist placements for all children where a request has been received, within the timescale we would have liked to. The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have most definitely made the situation more complex.
We know the delays have caused distress and anxiety for some parents, children and young people. We also know we have not always communicated as well as we could and should have with some families. That is not a place where we want to be.
SCC staff have worked very hard to deal with a further increase in demand for specialist education placements. We have shared with families this week a number of placement offers and further outcomes will be shared by the end of the first week of June. The majority of local specialist places will have been allocated at that time.
We are struggling to secure places for some children requesting a specialist placement for reception and for older children with identified social, emotional and mental health needs, despite having increased Suffolk’s specialist placements for September 2021. We will review the outstanding requests over the half term break and work with colleagues to identify possible solutions.
Requests for specialist provision are still coming in. Priority will be given to those children and young people without a current or school placement for September 2021 and these will be responded to as quickly as possible.
As soon as we have finished allocating the places for the 2021/2022 Academic Year, we will be working on the timeline and processes for the 22/23 academic year to ensure timescales are met and our communication processes are more pro-active and more responsive. We will include parents/carers and education providers in the refining of those processes.
Thank you for your understanding at what has been a very difficult time for so many. I apologise that it has been so difficult.
Allan Cadzow – Corporate Director for Children and Young People, Suffolk County Council