Weston’s MP John Penrose today called for North Somerset Council and local health chiefs to move faster in fixing the troubled Special Education Needs & Disabilities service, after Ministers issued an ‘Improvement Notice’ because previously-identified problems aren’t being solved fast enough.
In 2018 a joint inspection by Ofsted and CQC the service was graded inadequate. This matched concerns local MPs John Penrose and Liam Fox had raised about the quality of the service after local parents brought cases to their surgeries where pupils were waiting too long for diagnosis. In 2019 they won extra Government cash to speed this part of the service up. However, this summer the follow-up inspection found that six of the eight original problem areas still needed more work.
John said, “This will be horribly disappointing news for every local family with special needs or disabled children. We organised improved funding to cut the waits and delays two years ago, but now the rest of the service has been found wanting as well. Ofsted found eight problem areas to start with, but only two of them are being fixed fast enough. As I hope everyone would expect, I’ve already spoken to local Council officers and health chiefs to find out what they’re doing to improve things faster. Local schools and families will want answers from them as fast as possible.”
John has campaigned successfully for fairer funding for local schools, and to reduce SEND diagnosis delays as well, as shown in previous reports such as:
Weston’s MP hails fairer funding victory for local schools:
Weston’s MP hails fairer funding victory for local schools – John Penrose
Weston’s MP writes about improved funding for local SEND diagnosis:
Mercury Article: Much needed investment will help local families waiting for all-important diagnosis – John Penrose