|CCG provided information at the last meeting on responsibilities and recent actions. Notes were requested following that meeting and these were noted as Appendix 1 which set out CCG responsibilities with regard to SEND.|
Appendix 2b Visit Notes - site visits to Daisy Chain, Stockton Riverside College, Egglescliffe Secondary School and Abbey Hill Sixth Form were now complete.
One correction was provided in relation to Egglescliffe Secondary School - refers to180 pupils on SEND support which should be 184 on SEND register, 6 pupils with EHCPs, not 5, and 109 pupils on SEN K Support.
Members asked about the number of children on the register with autism, as it was suggested in the report that this was expected to noticeably increase in September. It was reported that this may refer to the fact that Egglescliffe is becoming an Enhanced school providing services in relation to the Communication element of SEND, and therefore more youngsters with autism may attend this mainstream secondary school with appropriate support around them, and not have to attend specialist school.
Members were pleased to note that Looked After Children and those with an identified vulnerability were provided with an additional transition day between primary and secondary school. It was felt that this would be beneficial and give extra confidence for transition between Year 6 and 7, and would be particularly helpful for those youngsters travelling from outside the area. More meetings have taken place this year between SENCOs from both relevant schools, with additional induction activities and the extra induction day.
Members discussed the variance in the quality of careers guidance in school for children with special needs. It was noted that careers advice in preparing for adulthood was not as strong as it could be and better guidance was needed both for students and professionals.
The Committee was updated on the work in progress on guidance leaflets for both young people and parents, with separate guidance for professionals, including special schools like Abbey Hill and also for mainstream schools. The parent leaflet had been shared with the Stockton Parent Carer Forum who are looking at this.
Work was ongoing with Pathway documentation - working with schools around what is expected of them and also looking at health, social care, housing, community as well as education.
The views of young people are crucial, and lots of work is ongoing to see how this could be developed. Visits had taken place to the Twisted Ducks group on Tyneside, and use of the Blue Cabin drama group at The Arc was being explored, to develop the learner voice, and hearing the views of youngsters, parents and carers.
Project Choice run by Health Education England was highlighted as a way of providing work experience within the NHS. Some other local authorities were involved with this and it would be beneficial to take this forward in Stockton. Details have been requested as there are a wide range of options available within Health - for example, medical records, pathology, post, catering pharmacy, linen rooms, gardening, cleaning, portering, domestic and reception. This was aimed at youngsters who have left school or college, with a view to supporting internship models to gain hands on' practical experience for youngsters for 6 - 12 months.
Much work is in progress with the emphasis on progression of SEND youngsters, starting much earlier at Year 9, not later when youngsters are wondering what college course to take, engaging well with parents, colleges and schools, finding innovative ways to seek pupil voices.
It was noted that the Self Evaluation on SEN was being updated and the various groups were being rationalised to ensure progress continued to be made.
Members discussed transition between phases for all children, particularly the most vulnerable. Ofsted outcomes for secondary schools in our area are much better - the impact of some of the transition work of the Committee was being referenced in Ofsted reports, and transition is an important factor in how our schools are converting to Good, a significant increase since last year with our secondary schools achieving Good or Better. Primary schools were pleased with the approach to transition and improvements such as shared teaching sessions.
Members asked about different school structures and governing bodies and whether this would cause any issues between schools and the local authority. It was noted that a report to Cabinet would be presented around direction of the Council. At present the School Improvement Service is always maintained and spends a lot of time developing relationships with schools and academies, pulling them together in forums, safeguarding forums, collaborative network meetings - exerting its influence to encourage schools to work together.
Although SEN is a statutory duty, the close working relationship between local authority and schools is crucial for the progression of children with special needs.
1. That the information be noted
2. Any further comments on the draft guidance be provided within a week.