Agenda item


To consider the outcome of the consultation which has informed the Special, Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy for Haringey for the next three years from 2022 to 2025 and the preparation of the draft written statement of action in response to the findings and recommendations from the local area inspection of SEND services.


Ms Jackie Difolco presented the item. 

In response to questions from the Board, the meeting heard that:

·         The Parent-Carer forum was functioning very well. It had originally started with under 10 members and now the forum was now closer to 60 members. A steering group had been established and a chair and vice-chair was in place. There was a drive to ensure that the group was inclusive and diverse including a range of special needs and disabilities. An engagement plan was being developed.

·         A 52 week wait for an autism assessment was too long and it was something professionals were conscious of going into the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) inspection and was something that had arisen from the parent- carer feedback. It was, however, an improvement from a maximum of a 85 week wait for children who were 11 years and older. A recurrent investment was going into the area and would help meet the demand. There would be a commitment of a maximum of 40 week average and 52 week wait for those aged 0 to 18.  

·         The workshop has been held and the feedback was that further support and communication was required. So work was being done with SEND DS and providers so that service users would be aware of the process in general.

·         It was important to note that there were various other services that were in place to support children with Special Educational Needs was under considerable strain. Speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and school nursing services were amongst the services that were provided. Therefore, it was important to recognise that the commitment to the children in local schools had good level of ambition, but community services generally were under strain. There was also a shortage of staff, many of whom were working at full capacity.

·         The SEND inspection was fair and accurate. The effort and the amount of work completed in order to make progress in the service was considerable. The service had improved in the last three months. The written statement of action had actions which had been taken. The work with health specialists and the CCG coming forward with more money for autism assessment was long overdue. A parallel review of Early Years was being completed and it was important to campaign with the government for more resources.

·         The relationship with the Parent-Carer forum had improved. Various people were involved with meetings of the SEND executives in the sub-groups. The Chair of Parent-carer forum was a member of SEND executive. 

·         The Steering Group had informed that they were pleased with the progress and felt that they were engaged. Approximately £800,000 worth of funding had gone into the SEND service, including increasing educational psychology resources, quality assurance and Educational Health and Care officers.

·         In relation to the three written statement of action areas; one of which was preparing for adulthood, it was important to note that what happened in the early years of development would affect adulthood.

·         For about six months, teams that had been doing autism assessments had brought additional people to provide assessments and hospitals had been looking at ways to assist one another. There had also been use of online assessments and work was being done to reduce backlog. Where there was insufficient capacity to meet demand, there needed to be a redress of the balance on an ongoing basis and there would be some more resource to allow the borough to meet demand at an improved level. However, as it was a growing population it would be difficult to meet demand absolutely.


The Chair stated that the issue of addressing various community services in the borough and a further update on the item would be brought forward to a future meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board.


That the contents of the report be noted.


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