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User views

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

Through participation and consultation, customers have identified that they require holistic, joined up assessments, access to universal settings, transport, and to have a choice of the quality services they receive.

This means developing flexible links to early years and universal, targeted and specialist service provision.

Recent feedback from parents is that they want a 'one stop shop' approach to SEND. This was highlighted in 2010 when the Sandridge Child Development Centre (CDC) closed during a reconfiguration of hospital premises. Since then parents and clinicians have clearly stated that a new CDC with clinicians relocated is what they want enabling a more coordinated and holistic approach to assessment.

Children, young people and their families have been integral in the design and development of SEND processes. Medway is one of 21 local authorities taking part in the SEND Pathfinder project. The Pathfinder Evaluation is collecting information at a national and local level from young people, parents and professionals about the current services provided and the changes proposed in the SEND Green Paper.[1] This information will be published by the DFE.

Schools have identified an interest in commissioning additional educational and child psychology services and this will be taken forward from September 2012. In addition, the Educational, Child and Community Psychology Service (ECCPS) will offer evidence–based interventions to support adoption and fostering placements to Social Care as a pilot project.

Parents and children have expressed the need for one voice to inform a co–ordinated holistic assessment to identify provision to meet their needs and to prevent the risk of family breakdown (see references to 'Every Child Matters' and 'Think Family' in section 5). This is being addressed by the SEND Pathfinder work, which is working with families to trial more streamlined and joined up assessment and planning processes.

Parental consultation has suggested that there is a lack of disability awareness within universal and targeted services and their capacity to successfully include and address the needs of this group of young people. This has partially been addressed as part of the Pathfinder workforce development work and Aiming High by the purchase of an e–learning tool, which is available to all parent carers and staff in Medway who work with children and young people. It is being administered by the LA Learning and Development Unit.


References

[1]   Department for Education. Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability - A consultation 2011; Department for Education. http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/Green-Paper-SEN.pdf .