East Sussex County Council has published a new review into its services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

St. John’s welcomes the publication of new SEND review

Student playing a number game

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has published a new review which identifies areas where support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) could be strengthened. The review compares the outcomes for children and young people who have SEND in East Sussex with national intelligence to create a more comprehensive picture of local needs. The outcomes of the review will be used to inform SEND strategy and joint commissioning priorities over the next two years. You can read the full report here.

Key findings of the review were that access to SEND services in East Sussex can be difficult and that there is a lack of clarity over referral processes. The voices of young people and their families are not being heard effectively and there is a view amongst some parents and carers that the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process is not effective or fair. The review also found that there is not enough capacity within the current system to meet need and that national funding issues appear to be affecting SEND provision.

“At St. John’s, we recognise the pressures facing ESCC and are keen to work with the local authority to find innovative solutions and partnerships to address the local authority’s needs and also those of families and young people,” says Simon Charleton, Chief Executive of St. John’s School and College.

St. John’s is a charity that provides education, care and therapy for children, young people and young adults with complex behaviours from 7-25 years old, based in Brighton and Seaford. We want to improve lives by making a practical difference to our children and young people by embracing their unique diversity. We seek to meet their complex learning needs through an innovative, evidence-based and compassionate approach to learning. We also offer training to educators and others across the region.

Bob Standley, ESCC lead member education and inclusion, special educational needs and disabilities, said: “We know that many of the pressures on SEND are not unique to East Sussex and are experienced by authorities across the country, but also know the importance of addressing the areas where the need for improvement was identified and, in many cases, work is already underway to do so. We are extremely grateful to our NHS and community and voluntary sector partners, East Sussex Parent Carer Forum, and the parents and carers who took time to give us candid feedback which will benefit families who rely on our support.”

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