Table of contents

Unmet needs

Background papers: children :: Special educational needs and disabilities [Update in progress] :: Unmet needs

• The shortfall in specialist provision for school aged and pre–school pupils with SEND has been noted above.

• The effect on SEND provision of schools changing their school type to academy status is yet to be fully understood. There has been a rise in exclusions from some academies since status change which has increased the need for the LA to have in place alternative curriculum and tuition options at least for interim provision. An increase in permanent exclusion (PE) of primary aged pupils has resulted in a need to provide interim provision for this age group.

• The increase in pupils with complex needs being educated in Medway has implications for specialist services and in particular speech and language and occupational therapy. In order to match the level of provision offered in the independent sector many of our new specialist provisions would need allocated speech and language therapy time. Also, some pupils can have their SEN needs met in mainstream as long as sufficient direct SLCN is available. Currently SEN is having to spot purchase SLT support to supplement what is generally available. At least one special school who provide their own therapy team from their own resources are struggling to access any support for their pupils from the community teams.

• Managing children and young people with challenging behaviour in school is a high priority (CYPP). Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) must be included in this work as young people who have SEBD face significant barriers to learning and development. TAMHS evaluation highlighted the importance of educational psychology services in supporting complex emotional and behavioural needs in schools. In Medway opportunities for greater join up between CAMHS and school focussed services provided by educational psychology should e explored.

• Joint work and better information sharing between services up to avoid overlap, evidence based interventions, early intervention with child and family. More join up between mental health, psychological and behaviour support services to ensure effective deployment or resources and better targeted interventions at whole school, group and individual levels.

• Evidence informed interventions to support children and young people with SEND in schools are important and a Medway framework for training could help reduce overlap and offer a more strategically focussed, evidence informed programme. However, research[1] increasingly shows that factors relating to the way programmes are implemented are critical in whether they are effective. This means the training framework needs to extend into or link with school based support by appropriately trained professionals to ensure programme fidelity .


[1]   Kelly B, Perkins DF. Handbook of Implementation Science for Psychology in Education 2012;