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Haringey achieves the highest rating for SEND services

Women walking with four young childrenHaringey has received the highest rating for delivering high quality services for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) following a joint area inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The report highlighted that the voices and opinions of families ‘are heard and acted on’ by leaders who ‘are ambitious and focused on improving the lives of children and young people’.

Haringey Council works closely with NHS North Central London Integrated Care Board (ICB) and partners across the education, health and care sector, to plan, commission and deliver SEND services.

Commending those services, inspectors said: ‘Children and young people with SEND and their families benefit from a culture of listening, flexibility and cooperation from professionals who support their best interests.  The outcomes and experiences of the most vulnerable are central to planning and decision-making in Haringey.’

Cllr Peray Ahmet, Leader of Haringey Council, said: “We are really pleased with the findings of the Ofsted report. I want to praise the efforts of all our staff, partners and families who are dedicated to nurturing positive experiences and outcomes for children and young people with SEND. This demonstrates our unwavering commitment to inclusivity and support for every individual in our community.

“While we have much to celebrate, we recognise that our work is ongoing and that for some families, their experience is not a positive one.  We will continue to build on our strengths and focus in on the areas that need improvement.  Our goal is to ensure that every child and young person with SEND reaches their full potential and that families receive the support they require.”

The report, published 3 April, following an inspection over 3 weeks in late January and early February 2024, concludes that services ‘typically lead to positive experiences and outcomes for children and young people with SEND’ – the highest rating possible under a new inspection framework introduced in 2023.

Parent/carer representatives from SEND Power, have provided mutual support and advocated for improved services with Haringey Council as well as other decision-makers alongside Elevate Youth who empower young people with SEND to shape services from within. Both have played a crucial role in enhancing outcomes through sustained support and collaborative production efforts.

Inspectors said ‘Multi-agency working flourishes in Haringey,’ found ‘considerable improvements’ in key areas since the last inspection in 2021 and commended the ‘commitment to co-production’ of services with children, young people and families.

Tim Miller, Assistant Director of Place for Haringey at the NHS North Central London Integrated Care Board said: “We are delighted by the SEND inspection report’s positive findings. This reflects our strong partnership working and the commitment shown by staff in the NHS. Haringey’s children and young people should receive the help and support they need and deserve.

“Our priorities now are to continue to improve information and engagement and access to health services and to reduce waiting times so the experiences and outcomes of children, young people and their families continues to improve.”

SEND Power Parent Carer Forum in Haringey, said: “The progress made thus far is very encouraging. It is good that we can all sit together and discuss SEND issues productively, despite not always agreeing on specific matters. Whilst things are heading in the right direction, it is also very important for Haringey not to be complacent. We must tackle the pressing issues that still deeply affect many of our families.”

Other strengths highlighted in the report include:

  • ‘Professionals across the partnership work creatively to address the rising numbers of children and young people with SEND’
  • ‘The voice of the child or young person rings very clearly through EHC [Education, Health and Care] plans’
  • ‘Children and young people with SEND do well at school’ and ‘benefit from a broad and developing range of out-of-school activities’
  • ‘Knowledgeable, culturally sensitive professionals offer direct support to families’
  • ‘Leaders have used creative commissioning to reduce waiting times across the partnership’

As part of the inspection process, inspectors spoke to 200 children, young people, parents and staff across all agencies, conducted 50 focus groups and visits to settings and received approximately 500 survey responses. Around 300 of these were from parent carers.

As well as evaluating the effectiveness of arrangements for children and young people with SEND, inspectors have recommended three areas where further improvements could be made:

  • Ensuring individual plans for adulthood are discussed across agencies from an earlier age
  • Ensuring recent changes have a more positive impact on a greater proportion of children and young people
  • Leaders maintain the pace and traction around timely access to health services

These will be incorporated within the local area SEND and Inclusion Plan which outlines a range of areas of focus and priorities to deliver over the next year. This will be published on Haringey’s SEND Local Offer webpages: Haringey’s Local Offer | Haringey Council

You can read the report online.