Derby City has improved services for children with special needs

Published: 23 November 2021

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Services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities have improved

Derby City Council and NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (DDCCG) have improved services in the city for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Following a recent revisit to Derby, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have said that the city has made sufficient progress in addressing all five of the significant weaknesses identified at a previous inspection in June 2019.

Inspectors found that, since their last visit, there has been a significant change in culture resulting in stronger working relationships across the city. Parents and carers are now more involved in making decisions and help to shape and drive improvements. The parents and carers inspectors spoke with said they felt listened to and that services were “unrecognisable” compared with those in June 2019.

There is also now a clear strategy for improving provision and outcomes for children and young people with SEND. Inspectors found that the professionals working in education, health and social care are committed, ambitious and willing to improve.

Regarding Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans, inspectors noted that the need to work closely with parents, carers and professionals for education, health and social care is now well understood.

More EHC plans are now completed within the 20-week timescale although the roll-out of service-wide digital tool to improve the quality, writing and sharing of plans was delayed by the pandemic. Work is underway to introduce this tool soon.

Inspectors revisited Derby from 4 to 6 October 2021 and carried out activities virtually and in person. Inspectors spoke with parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, as well as council and health professionals.

They also reviewed performance data and evidence and considered the views of more than 400 parents and carers who responded to an online survey.

Inspectors didn’t find any new areas of weakness but recognised that some parents and carers who responded to the online survey have yet to experience the impact of service improvements.

Cllr Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills at Derby City Council, said:

I am delighted with the outcome of the revisit by Ofsted and the CQC and the progress that has been made since 2019 and would like to recognise the hard work of everyone involved in making the changes.

I’d personally like to thank them for their energy, commitment and dedication in achieving these significant improvements, changing the lives of children and young people with SEND across the city.

Andy Smith, Strategic Director of People Services at Derby City Council, said:

We are pleased that inspectors have recognised the significant investment and improvements since their last visit, which they say cannot be underestimated on the impact they make to the lives of children, young people and their families across Derby.

While we have focused on putting in place the building blocks of change, we are not complacent and recognise we have more work to do in a number of areas.

Our commitment for the future is to support all children and young people in Derby with special educational needs and disabilities to ‘live their best lives’.

Dr Chris Clayton, Chief Executive Officer, Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

We welcome the inspector's latest report and will continue to seek improvements for these young people.

Our partnership working has proved to be key to our progress in delivering sustainable, system-wide changes, including children and young people being able to access services in a timely way.

Every improvement we continue to make has a positive impact on the lives of young people in Derby

The full findings of the inspection are on the Ofsted website

Find out about Derby city’s SEND Local Offer and the SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) 

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