We are delighted to announce that Watkins Solicitors are in the process of becoming a dementia-friendly law firm, starting in January 2018. We are now members of the South Gloucestershire and Bristol Dementia Action Alliance, and planning to extend this in Bath where we have recently opened a new office...
South Gloucestershire Council Ofsted Findings
- AuthorLydia Dunford
A joint inspection of South Gloucestershire Council’s SEN and Disabilities provisions carried out by both Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently published its findings highlighting areas both of strength and need in the Local Authority’s provision for children and young people and their families.
The report has found a number of areas in which families with children with special educational needs and disabilities have felt let down by the Local Authority’s lack of communication and SEND services. Parents have noted that there have been delays completing the EHCP process, from requesting an initial EHC Needs Assessment to issuing a clear and detailed final EHC Plan. There are also concerns raised about the delays parents face to get their child assessed in the first place, and this is a particular concern for families waiting for assessments and diagnosis of children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
The report also highlighted the number of both fixed term and permanent exclusions for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities is higher than national figures. Families within the Local Authority feel there is a lack of information provided for the provisions for 19-25 year old young people and the Local Authority has now pledged to amend its current local offer which many parents find to be confusing and unhelpful.
The report did highlight that changes were being made across a number of services but many of these will take time and a number of families still feel let down by the Local Authority’s SEND and Disabilities provisions. A number of families also raised concerns about the lack of a collaborative approach between Local Authority Education Departments and Health Authorities.
Overall, on completion of the report, the Local Authority is now required to produce and submit a written statement of action addressing the reports’ areas of concern and we look forward to reviewing the proposed changes that will be put forward by the Local Authority and will keep you updated.