We are delighted to be able to share with you Suffolk’s new SEND Strategy for 2017-20 on behalf of the SEND Programme Board. Partners across Suffolk have worked together since January this year to develop the strategy which addresses both the issues that were highlighted as part of the CQC and Ofsted SEND inspection, as well as wider improvements that parents, carers and practitioners have asked for.
We have also developed a more detailed action plan that supports the strategy delivery and this, alongside the strategy forms our Ofsted/CQC SEND statement of action,which has recently been approved by Ofsted and CQC. The new strategy and this plan have been co-produced with the Suffolk Parent Carer Network and they will play a continuing role as our critical friend, ensuring the views of parents and carers remain central in all that we do. We are very grateful for the time that SPCN volunteers give to this work.
We are committed to working together with families and communities to improve the support for children and young people with SEND to meet their potential, live healthy and lead fulfilling lives in their community.
As part of this, all partners have agreed that they want to achieve the following by the end of 2017:
- Children, young people, families and professionals will be able to use the local offer effectively to support their own SEND journey.
- Professionals will be working more closely to share information and through the new EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) hub, deliver more timely, high quality co-production with children, young people and families.
- We will have developed a good understanding of the gaps in services and provision and be co-producing new offers to meet identified need.
- The transition through to adulthood will be better understood by children, young people and families with co-produced pathways being developed.
A lot of work is already underway in relation to these commitments. Over the summer we will launch a telephone helpline for the Suffolk Local Offer and in the autumn a new digital EHCP system to make it easier for families and practitioners to keep a track of the progress in relation to their plans. More details will be available on both of these and other developments over the coming weeks and months.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of developing the strategy and statement of action. We must now ensure we deliver for the children, young people and families across Suffolk who rely on SEND services.
Progress with our Statement of Action
Over the last year all partners have worked hard to make progress with creating a system that works much better for children and young people with SEND and their families and we are pleased to have received a recent letter from the Minister recognising our progress. However, we are not complacent, and we know there are still many things that are not working well. Much of the change we have made so far will not yet be having direct benefits for our families and we know that for some people it will feel like nothing has changed. Our task over the coming year is to ensure we continue to work hard to realise the benefits of the changes we have made for families across Suffolk.