SEND reforms were introduced in 2014. In May 2017, the Brent local area SEND inspection team from the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) stated that there were significant strengths within the local system, and also the following “areas of significant weakness”:
- Strategic leadership of the CCG in implementing the SEN reforms;
- The fragmented approach to joint commissioning causing gaps in services;
- The lack of opportunity for therapists to respond to draft Education, Health, and Care Plans before they are finalised;
- Poor access to services for some vulnerable groups; in particular to audiology, OT and speech and language therapy;
- Limited opportunities for parental involvement when designing and commissioning services.
These “areas of significant weakness” were addressed through a Written Statement of Action, developed between NHS Brent CCG and Brent Council. Updates were provided through the Brent Children’s Trust to the Health and Wellbeing Board. Brent Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee took assurance on the progress made. Progress was monitored quarterly by NHS England (NHSE) and the Department for Education (DfE). All actions were completed by July 2018, and the progress was subject to Ministerial review.
The post-inspection arrangements were updated in November 2018, introducing SEND revisits for Local Areas that had required Written Statements of Action.
The revised guidance is available here
Revisit on 13-15 May 2019
- The same team led the May 2019 revisit as had led the May 2017 inspection.
- Documentary evidence was submitted on 30 April 2019.
- Over 80 parents provided online feedback.
- Meetings were held with children, young people, parent-carers, frontline staff and strategic leaders.
- In the introductory meeting, strategic leaders in Brent Local Area set out what progress had been made against the “areas of significant weakness”.
- The revisit team provided verbal feedback on 15 May 2019.
The formal findings of the SEND revisit were that leaders of the local area have made sufficient progress against all of the weaknesses identified in the written statement, HMCI recommends that the formal monitoring visits from the DfE and NHS England should cease. The 14 June 2019 letter from Oftsed and the CQC is available to download here.
The Joint Brent SEND Strategy was updated to incorporate the feedback from the revisit:
- The Brent Local Area will update our occupational health pathway, following the co-production approach with professionals, parents, and young people, used successfully to update our speech and language pathway; and
- The process for drafting Education, Health, and Care Plans will ensure all partners consider the plan as a whole, not just their own sections.
Partners within Brent Local Area remain committed to further improving services for children with SEND. Work continues to be led through a joint commissioning group, with routine reporting to Brent Children’s Trust, and the Brent Health and Wellbeing Board.
For further information of SEND services, please see the Brent Local Offer.
For information about getting involved in reshaping SEND services, please contact the Brent Parent-Carer Forum.