Parents have told Ofsted inspectors that services in H&F for children with special educational needs deserve praise, says a highly positive new report from the regulator.
The assessment of borough-wide services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in H&F says that as a result, young people are achieving well at each key stage of their education. It also commends the work H&F does with parents to put them at the heart of decision-making.
“We are not complacent about the need for continuous improvement, but it is highly encouraging to see such positive feedback from both parents and inspectors in this Ofsted report,” said Cllr Larry Culhane, H&F Cabinet Member for Children and Education.
“One of the things picked out as positive by the inspectors was the work we do with parents to put them at the heart of our decision-making for services – part of our belief as a council in doing things with people, not to them.
“It is a particular achievement to receive such positive feedback from Ofsted, at a time when government underfunding is impacting on SEND services across the country.”
Ofsted mentioned in particular that the council's independent advice and guidance services, Insights, was well regarded by parents. There was also praise the parent carer forum, Parentsactive, which Ofsted said was positively received by parents.
The H&F SEND service covers services across the borough in education, health and social care for children and young people aged up to 25, with special educational needs and disabilities. The inspection covered all of the SEND services in the local area, including those run by the NHS.
There was special mention of the newly opened Stephen Wiltshire Centre, which Ofsted reported was 'improving access and increasing the range and reach of services such as short breaks'. They said it was succeeding in connecting more parents, previously not receiving this sort of council help, with a wider range of local services.
“There will always be areas for improvement, and we are grateful to parents who gave feedback to Ofsted on these,” said Cllr Culhane. “Providing a service for parents of SEND children is a constant matter of learning for us – and this valuable feedback on our service gives us even higher standards to which we can aspire.”
Read the full Ofsted report for the Stephen Wiltshire Centre (pdf).
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