Reading Launches New Special Educational Needs and Disability Strategy

A NEW strategy which aims to provide the best possible life through education, early help and healthy living to the borough’s most vulnerable young people is being launched next week.

The Council’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) strategy 2017 – 2022 will provide a framework to enable a more co-ordinated approach to identifying and meeting children’s needs.

It will also involve a review of services provided by the Council and its partners to ensure children and young people with special needs are receiving the most effective and efficient support with the best possible outcomes.

The strategy highlights the importance of identifying and addressing children and young people’s SEND early to prevent escalation to more specialist services where possible.

It also emphasises the need to involve children and their parents/carers in the process of assessing their needs, ensuring they clearly understand the processes and that they feel confident with the outcome through being involved in the decision making.

Meeting the needs of SEND children and young people will be a collaborative process involving education, health and social care services.  The role of the Reading Parent Carer Forum will also be central to the delivery of the strategy and has been closely involved in SEND reforms so far.

The strategy also promises to work with families to develop a transition to adulthood plan which outlines how young people with SEND will be supported into adulthood. From the age of 14, young people will be supported to consider options for training, volunteering or opportunities for paid employment.

Councillor Tony Jones, Lead Member for Education, said:

“The SEND strategy is about ensuring Reading’s most vulnerable children and young people are given the best possible opportunities through education and early help.

“It is vital children’s needs are identified early, that appropriate support is put in place and that their progress is monitored regularly.

“This strategy puts in place robust procedures which the Council and its partners can follow and which are clear to children and their families who will be involved in making the decisions which affect them.”   

The SEND strategy will be discussed at a meeting of the Adult, Children and Education Committee on 12th July and can be found at: http://www.reading.gov.uk/article/10566/Adult-Social-Care-Childrens-Services–Education-Committee-12-JULY-2017