Mark Walker (Interim Director of SEND) and Matt Dunkley (Corporate Director for CYPE) were in attendance for this item.
1) Mrs Chandler introduced the report and said that the strategy and consultation responses had been illustrative of the huge amount of work and progress that had been made on the Written Statement of Action. In particular, the consultation responses from parents and carers had demonstrated the progress that had been made in co-production and communication.
2) In response to questions, it was noted:
· It was requested that there be a yearly report of spending in relation to the strategy.
· It had been acknowledged that changes since 2014 had made the system unsustainable on a national level, with higher numbers of children being identified as requiring additional support. The system had encouraged high levels of expenditure and during this period, many parents were raising concerns about mainstream schools not being able to meet the needs of their children. This issue was creating funding deficits for local authorities across the country. There would need to be a settlement for high needs funding deficit as it would not be possible to pay off the deficit and stay within the prescribed funding formula.
· Schools would need to feel equipped and become confident in meeting a higher proportion of children’s needs. The effect of this change would be that parents would feel that their children’s needs were met without an ECHP or without seeking a diagnosis. There would be a change from the use of medicalised model to a social model of meeting children’s needs.
· It was envisaged that the backlog of ECHP assessments would be cleared in around 2 months.
3) RESOLVED to note the report.