A positive outlook for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability in Doncaster

Local leaders in Doncaster are committed to improving the life chances of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). That’s the finding of a new report carried out and published by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors for Ofsted and the CQC spoke with children and young people with SEND, parents, carers and staff from Doncaster Council, schools and the NHS. They found that improvements have been made to the quality of health, education and social care provision which is having a positive impact for children and young people and that the overall picture in Doncaster is one of steady improvement.

Cllr Nuala Fennelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools said: “This is a positive outlook for our children and families in Doncaster who need our support to live happy and fulfilling lives. As the statutory lead, it is encouraging to see an improving picture for the most vulnerable children in our borough. We all need to be working together, as partners, and this report highlights how strong we are at this and how our close partnership working has improved our services in this area and puts the needs of children and young people first.

“We are acting quickly to look at all the service areas where we can carry on improving. We are committed to promoting what support is available so families and professionals know where to turn to for help and guidance.”

Jackie Pederson, Chief Officer, NHS Doncaster CCG added: “It is great to see that the positive work that has taken place in Doncaster to improve health and care services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities has been recognised.

“The report includes a number of helpful recommendations and we will continue to work closely with Doncaster Council to address these to further improve health and care services for children, young people and their families.”

A number of areas have been highlighted as strong, for example, the inspectors noted that the voice of children and young people with SEND is given high priority in the borough. They are listened to and they are able to influence the services they receive.

Also highlighted in the report was that support for children aged 0 to 5 years is cohesive and coherent. Frontline practitioners in early years services show a clear commitment to improving health, education and care provision for young children with SEND.

Areas for development include ensuring that children and young people with SEND receive effective support at points of transition as absence from school and the number of fixed-term exclusions are too high. However, it was noted that development plans to tackle this are sharply focused on what needs to improve.

The full report of the joint local area SEND Inspection is available to read.