26th January 2018
Dear Parents and Carers,
You will recall back in November 2016 that Rochdale had its first SEND inspection. While the inspection team reported a range of positive areas they had identified four areas of concern. Given the findings Rochdale was required to produce a written statement of action to explain how the areas of weakness were to be tackled. The four areas of concern were:-
- To increase the capacity of mainstream schools to identify and effectively meet the needs of the increasing population of children and young people with SEND, in particular those with Autism.
- To improve the weak educational outcomes for children and young people at the SEN support stage and reduce the increasingly high numbers of exclusions for this group.
- To improve the timeliness of responses to children, young people and their families in need of significant help and support, with particular reference to children and young people with Autism.
- To promote common understanding of the local offer.
While the inspection did identify areas of concern it is important to highlight that they did comment on the positive role of the Rochdale Parent Carers Voice. Seeing it as a real strength in terms of its role in service development and the challenge it made against service providers.
Since the inspection we have jointly been working on a SEND action plan which is available on the Local Offer for all to read.
There has been intensive monitoring of our SEND action plan at three levels:-
- Bi monthly SEND action challenge meeting chaired by G. Hopper.
- Bi monthly scrutiny by the Children with Disabilities Program Board.
- Quarterly monitoring meeting run jointly with the DfE and NHS England.
I am pleased to be able to share with you that we have received a letter from the Minister in December 2017 confirming that he was happy with the progress we have made. The letter marks the end of this period but we will be sending them an update in a further 12 months’ time to evidence that we remain focused on improving services for all Rochdale’s children and young people with SEND.
I would like to take this opportunity to again thank the members of Rochdale Parent Carers Voice for their contribution to the redesign of services.
Head of special educational needs (SEN) and children with disabilities (CWD)