Inspectors praise support for Northamptonshire children with special educational needs

Work to improve services in Northamptonshire is suitably focused and is making a difference, watchdogs say.
Work to improve services in Northamptonshire is suitably focused and is making a difference, watchdogs say.

A review of services for children in Northamptonshire with special educational needs has praised the effectiveness of the support on offer.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission inspected how health, social care and education partners in Northamptonshire are meeting their responsibilities to disabled children and young people, and those with special educational needs.

Northamptonshire County Council, Nene Clinical Commissioning Group and Corby Clinical Commissioning Group have welcomed the inspection report, published on Thursday, June 22, which highlights the commitment to improving outcomes for children and young people who have special educational needs.

Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for children’s services, councillor Matthew Golby said: “I’m delighted that the inspectors have recognised our efforts to provide high-quality support for children and young people with special educational needs.

“We have worked closely with health and social care providers to set realistic yet aspirational targets for our children and young people in special education, and to help them achieve those targets.

“This report identifies areas of good practice across the county and offers us the opportunity to build on areas identified for development.”

The report also praises the close collaboration between service providers and the children and families involved to ensure services meet their needs and continue to improve.

Inspectors found:

- Education, health and social care partners work effectively together to keep children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities safe.

- Work to improve services is suitably focused and is making a difference.

- The local area’s approach to identifying children and young people’s special educational needs and/or disabilities is increasingly effective.

- Children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities achieve well in the area’s special schools, all of which are at least judged to be ‘good’ by Ofsted, and a high proportion outstanding.

- Agencies work well together to ensure that children’s needs are identified and assessed quickly and suitable provision is put into place.

- The voice of the child is typically captured well in education, health and care plans.

- The report also makes a number of suggestions for further improvement, including more work to help young people secure post-16 education and training.

A spokesman for Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “Nene and Corby CCGs welcome the SEND report and would like to formally thank all the teams, families and young people for their input during the assessment process and in the positive development of local services in the county.

“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council in driving the SEND agenda to continue to improve outcomes for our population.”