Lib Dems seek improvements for SEND services

Liberal Democrats are taking immediate action to address concerns raised in a recent inspection of the Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) local offer in Kingston.

The SEND inspection took place just months into the new Lib Dem administration after four years of Tory rule at the Council.

Local area services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities will now produce a written statement of action outlining how the Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will address the weaknesses identified. This document is written jointly by Achieving for Children and the CCG and agreed by the Department for Education and NHS England. It is due to be finished early in the New Year.

Consultation for the Kingston SEND Transformation Plan has begun at a local level, and this plan includes wide representation on the Partnership Board and in several workstreams from all our local partners.

Leader of Kingston Council, Councillor Liz Green, said: “We welcome an inspection so early in our administration, and fully take on board the findings of the visit which has highlighted areas for improvement. We are confident that we can take the service forward in the future, but only if we change to seeing parents/carers and schools as partners.”

Local Lib Dem Councillor, and Portfolio Holder for Children Services, Diane White, said: “A key priority for the Liberal Democrats is positive engagement with families, who are the experts in the needs of their own children. We are working with Contact a Family, a charity for families with disabled children, to establish a new parent carer forum with whom we can collaborate to take our action plan forward.

“Working in local partnership is central to our transformation, and this is the only way we will be able to secure the system-wide improvement to achieve the best possible outcomes for our children and young people with SEND.”

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