Plans to improve how special educational needs are met in Sheffield have been approved by inspectors following an Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection last year.
A joint council and CCG action plan was developed after inspectors found weaknesses in how the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are identified and met, whilst recognising the frontline professionals who work hard to make a positive difference.
The action plan was developed by Sheffield City Council and NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group working with schools, Sheffield’s Parent Carer Forum and other services. It describes how the city will respond to the specific areas raised by inspectors in their report. Plans are also being made to work with children and families on an overall Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) strategy for the city, to further prioritise improvements.
Councillor Abtisam Mohamed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Sheffield City Council, said:
“It is crucial that SEND services offered to all children and young people in the city are of the standard they deserve and meet their individual needs.
“The issues raised are not acceptable but I am wholly committed to making things better.
“We will soon be asking people to help us produce a new SEND strategy, which will ensure that the concerns of those directly affected will be heard and prioritised in our plans.
“As the new Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I take these issues very seriously. I have campaigned for many years on some of the issues raised in the report and I will ensure action is taken and that we work hard to make SEND services in Sheffield the best they have been.”
People can stay up to date by signing up to a new SEND newsletter at www.sheffield.gov.uk/sendinspection
Mandy Philbin, Chief Nurse at NHS Sheffield CCG, said:
“We are committed to improving the lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. We have recruited a senior paediatric nurse as our designated clinical officer for SEND who will support us to engage with families to help influence and develop the SEND strategy.”
Ofsted and the CQC will revisit Sheffield within 18 months to assess whether the required improvements have been made. This is expected around October 2020.
Read the action plan which responds to the inspection, and one page summary, at: www.sheffield.gov.uk/sendinspection