It was good to meet the Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing alongside my Oxfordshire Parliamentary colleagues last week following our letter to her in which we expressed our frustration about SEND provision in Oxfordshire.
The Minister reassured us that the Department for Education (DfE) are aware of parents concerns with issues including SEN Officer retention, compliance with EHCPs and the number of specialist school places across Oxfordshire. To ensure the County Council are meeting their statutory obligations, DfE will be taking action to assist them to make the necessary improvements. I know that the £3.5 million made available to the Council in the Budget will help them achieve this.
More broadly, I was pleased to learn that through the SEN Review and Green Paper, DfE plan to further incorporate parent’s concerns in Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspections of Council services – giving them a greater say in the decisions that are made.
The Government’s publication of its SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan is welcome. Investment will be increased by more than 50 per cent. It will establish a single national system that delivers for every child and young person with special education needs and disabilities, giving families greater confidence that they can access the right support, in the right place and at the right time.
I want to reassure all my constituents that I will continue to monitor the situation closely. Anyone with concerns should contact me via email@example.com.