Monitoring lifted on Hartlepool's special educational needs and disabilities provision after inspectors note improvements
Hartlepool’s special educational needs and disabilities provision is no longer under six monthly Government monitoring after ‘clear and sustained progress’ made.
Following an Ofsted inspection of Hartlepool’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision in 2017, the area had to produce a written statement of action to improve ‘serious weaknesses’ identified.
This meant they had to be monitored by NHS England and the Department for Education until sufficient improvements had been made.
Sally Robinson, council director of children’s and joint commissioning services, said an update has now been provided that the formal monitoring via the six-monthly progress reviews is no longer necessary.
Speaking to the children’s services committee, she said it comes after the 12-month progress review in February highlighted a number of improvements.
She said: “We are no longer now under monitoring of the Department for Education for the delivery of our SEND services, but we will continue to work with our local advisor, which all local authorities do.
“So we’re back into the mainstream, which is great news and just to thank everybody who has worked really hard to deliver the improvements that were identified in that inspection.”
Improvements which were previously identified to be carried out included tackling the ‘inconsistency in the timeliness and effectiveness’ of the local areas arrangements to identify and assess young people’s special educational needs and disabilities.
The area also had to strengthen its approach to joint commissioning of services for children and young people.
A revisit from inspectors also previously happened in January 2019, which noted at the time although improvements had been made in some areas, the specified areas still needed further progress.
Ms Robinson said the letter received following the latest progress review detailed how Hartlepool has made ‘clear and sustained progress’ against its action plan and work is having a ‘positive impact’ on SEND delivery.
It also praised how the ‘timeliness and quality’ of education health and care plans has improved, and the relationship between the council, the clinical commissioning group (CCG) and the parent carer forum has strengthened.
The letter also noted several actions for further improvement, such as continuing to build on the improved relations between the council, CCG and parent carer forums.
Councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council children’s services committee praised the improvements made and the steps taken by the local authority.