Agenda and minutes

SEND Sub-Committee - Tuesday, 6th June, 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Gaetano Romagnuolo  03000 416624


No. Item


Introduction/Webcasting Announcement

Additional documents:


Apologies and Substitutes

Additional documents:


Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Hudson. She was substituted by Mr Booth.



Declarations of Interest by Members in items on the agenda

Additional documents:



Minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2023 pdf icon PDF 298 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that, subject to the inclusion of Mr Reidy in the attendance list, the minutes should be approved as a correct record.



Education, Health and Care Plans in Kent pdf icon PDF 984 KB

Additional documents:


1)    Mr Love introduced the report and the guest KCC officers.


2)    Christine McInnes clarified that the EHCP data (which had been requested by the Sub-Committee) was included in the main body of the report so it could be contextualised.


a)    She explained that Kent was an outlier at every stage of the statutory EHCP process. However, this was not true of other data about Kent’s children and young people, which was broadly in line with national or nearest neighbour averages. This would suggest that, at a system level, Kent’s approach to planning to meet the range of children’s needs, and its judgement about ‘significantly greater difficulty in learning’, may differ from other parts of the country.  There was general acceptance that there was significant variation in the way this phrase was interpreted in different schools and local authorities. This had been recognised by the Government, who had signalled its intention to bring in greater national standardisation of the EHCP process. Further publications detailing the elements of this standardisation were expected in autumn 2023.


b)    Critical to this was whether the parents of SEND children were confident that they could be educated effectively in mainstream settings. The report outlined the wealth of work that had been carried out in Kent to develop the capacity of mainstream schools to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND.


c)    There were challenges with the recruitment of Speech and Language Therapists; this was a national issue.


d)    There had been a significant restructuring of KCC’s SEND service provision. This was completed in April 2023.


e)    While the main purpose of the report was to highlight the areas of service provision that needed improving, it was important to acknowledge that there were many children and young people with SEND in Kent who were thriving and doing well in their school.


3)    In response to a Member’s question about the reasons for the spike in EHCP assessments for 2-3 year olds and 9-10 year olds, Christin McInnes explained that those were threshold ages for entry to different parts of the education system. There had been a significant increase in Early Years assessments post-Covid. Short-term interventions were being developed to address speech and language development, and social and emotional development, to compensate for this post-Covid impact. In terms of preparation for secondary school, it was not known whether there was a direct correlation with the Selective system, although this could be a factor. 

4)    In reply to a question seeking clarification on KCC’s interpretation of the SEND Code of Practice, Christine McInnes said that she needed to take advice from the General Counsel before responding.


5)    Responding to a question about the number of Kent schools that had signed up to the SEND protocol, Christine McInnes explained that there was a statutory requirement in Equalities Law to make reasonable adjustments in relation to disability. There was a legal requirement that schools should be inclusive and accessible; it was not for them to decide whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.