North Tyneside praised by Ofsted and CQC for united approach to improving the lives of children and young people with SEND
Outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in North Tyneside are “strong,” a report by Ofsted and the CQC has found.
SEND services in the borough went under the spotlight during a joint five-day inspection in November 2021.
Inspectors spent time speaking to children and young people with SEND, parents and carers, school and college leaders, as well as council and local NHS teams.
In their report published today, inspectors said leaders of education, health and social care are “united in their mission to improve the experience and outcomes of children and young people with SEND.”
The report found that outcomes for children and young people with SEND are strong and there is a positive picture for attendance, exclusions from school and the number of young people with SEND who progress to further education, employment or training.
Leaders are “determined to know what is working and what needs changing and are looking at detailed information and identifying priorities that chime with the issues raised by children and young people with SEND and their families,” it adds.
The influential roles of the North Tyneside Parent and Carer Forum and the SEND Youth Forum are praised by inspectors for making sure the voices of children, young people and their families are heard.
Inspectors identified that leaders are not complacent, recognising they do not always “get things right” and that they are on a journey of continuous improvement.
Recent new initiatives include a revised autism strategy that aims to improve services and provision for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Cllr Peter Earley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young people, North Tyneside Council, said: “Children and young people tell us they want to have fun, make friends, learn, work, have the opportunity to speak up and be heard and to be full participants in their community, in short a ‘gloriously ordinary’ life.
“From our health visitors helping to give babies the best possible start – through to the teams of therapists and our schools and careers advisors preparing our young people for the world of work and independent lives – we want to be there to provide the right support at the right time every step of the way.
“Making sure that every child and young person has the opportunity to thrive and reach their potential is very important to us here in North Tyneside and I am pleased that this report recognises the passion and commitment of all those involved.
“But we know that we are not yet getting it right for every family and we will continue to work alongside our wonderful young people, parents, and carers as we shape our ambitious plans for the future.”
Dr Lesley Young-Murphy, Executive Director of Nursing and Chief Operating Officer, North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Chair of the Strategic SEND Board, said: “I am proud to see so many professionals working together, alongside our young people, parents and carers, to deliver the best outcomes for young people.
“We know we have more to do and our commitment to young people, parents and carers is that we will continue to strive to improve the services we provide in order to support our your young people to lead their best lives.”
The report marks a hat-trick for North Tyneside’s children’s services. With outstanding results for Children’s Social Care and Youth Justice and now strong services for children with additional needs, North Tyneside is leading the way nationally to provide the very best support for children, young people and families.
Jacqui Old, Director of Children’s and Adult Services, North Tyneside Council, said: “I am pleased that Ofsted and the CQC concluded that our services are making a real difference to children and their families.
“I’m enormously proud of the positive change leaders and staff have achieved, working tirelessly to continue raising the bar despite the additional pressures of the pandemic.
“Receiving such a strong report following on from the inspection is very positive, but it needs to sit alongside our commitment for continuous improvement and we know we still have lots to do.”
The North Tyneside Parent and Carer Forum was relaunched in 2017 and plays a strategic role in shaping SEND provision in North Tyneside, alongside the SEND Youth Forum.
Chair, Jo Gilliland, whose son, Nathan Reid, is a member of the SEND Youth Forum, said: “I’m pleased that this report reflects how there are lots of people working really hard here in North Tyneside to make a difference to young people with SEND and their families.
“But it also recognises that no one is complacent and that more needs to be done to ensure that all our young people can reach their potential.
“Putting the voice of young people and their families at the heart of SEND provision is so important and we are looking forward to continuing to work with the council and its partners to ensure the right services are in place.”
You can read the full inspection letter from Ofsted and Care Quality Commission, dated 24 January 2022 below.
The North Tyneside Local Offer is a one stop shop for information, support and local services for children and young people with SEND and their families. It has been developed as a partnership and features a wide range of topics across education, health and social care and signposts to relevant services or activities. You can find out more on our website here.