Action plan to improve special educational needs support in Hartlepool after disappointing inspection

Council bosses have drawn up an action plan improve support for people with special educational needs in Hartlepool after a disappointing inspection.

Saturday, 6th July 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Friday, 5th July 2019, 14:13 pm
Hartlepool Civic Centre

An initial inspection from CQC and Ofsted at the end of 2017 highlighted four areas which needed improvements at Hartlepool Borough Council.

A revisit from inspectors in January this year showed improvements had been made in two of the areas, in providing clear and timely information and support to families, and in the monitoring of effectiveness of services in improving outcomes for young people.

However the inspection found improvements were still needed in the other two areas, in terms of inconsistencies in the timeliness and effectiveness of the local area’s arrangements for identifying and assessing young people’s needs.

The inspection also stated there was weaknesses in strategic joint commissioning of services for children and young people

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Danielle Swainston, assistant director for children and families services on the council, said: “They were sufficiently assured in terms of our clear and timely information to families, and families fed that back to inspectors.

“In terms of monitoring of the effectiveness of outcomes for our children we were also seen to have made significant progress.

“Our timeliness had got significantly better but our quality of plans was still inconsistent, so when we spoke to inspectors they were quite clear that’s where we need to focus our attention.

“They did see examples of joint commissioning and felt we were on the right road, but…they felt our joint commissioning was not robust enough.”

The council has now submitted an improvement plan specifically targeting those areas.

Ms Swainston was speaking at a meeting of the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board.

Council leader Coun Shane Moore said: “It goes without saying it’s good to see there is an improvement plan put together and there are defined targets set within it.

“Obviously we will expect to see the outcome of these.”

Council officers said frequent checks and monitoring will be in place to ensure the council sticks to its targets.

Coun Brenda Harrison raised concerns of the pressures faced by the increasing number of people needing the extra care.