SEN support expectations - Background
In January 2019 the local area was inspected on its work on introducing the SEND reforms. The inspection found that leaders knew the area well and had a good understanding of its strengths and areas for development. However the report indicated that leaders had underestimated the unhappiness of parents with aspects of SEND, though those accessing provision in the borough were mainly pleased with the provision made.
The inspection commented that parents were unhappy with the timeliness of assessing their children’s needs and issuing EHC plans; the overall quality of EHC plans; communication; the wide variation in the quality of support provided by mainstream schools and waiting times for an assessment and diagnosis of ASD.
These issues were known to the council and partners and plans were in place or being developed to address these concerns. In 2019 we are meeting the 20 week time limit for assessing needs and issuing plans in over 85 per cent of cases. We have developed a sample audit to review the quality of plans and supporting staff in improving their contributions to reports on which plans are based. We are working with Ealing Parent and Carer Forum (EPCF) to improve communication and participation, The CCG is leading work on ASD assessment pathways. We know that more needs to be done and progress is monitored regularly with all partners including representatives of EPCF.
With regard to the variability of support provided in mainstream schools, this document is part of our approach to assist schools improve the quality of support in schools. It sets out the roles of leaders and governing bodies and what parents, children and young people should expect at SEND support. It provides for SENCOs and class teachers strategies and resources in the main areas of SEND.
The document has benefited from the contributions from schools and members of Ealing Learning Partnership (ELP), SEND and inclusion committee a partnership between the Ealing schools and the LA. I would particularly like to thank Daniel Bishop and Katy Reeves (Joint Chairs of the ELP SEND and Inclusion Committee) and Melanie Hogan (Deputy Head, Castlebar School) for their work in editing and finalising the document.
It is intended to provide briefing sessions for SENCos during the autumn term 2019 through the usual networks.