Have your say on the SEND improvement plan for Bristol: SEND-2

27 Jan 2020

Have your say on the SEND improvement plan for Bristol

An extraordinary scrutiny meeting will take place next week

An extraordinary scrutiny meeting will take place next week to gather the public’s views on Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision in Bristol.

The Extraordinary Meeting of the People Scrutiny Commission will look at the recent Ofsted/Care Quality Commission report into SEND services. It will be held on Monday 3 February at 11.30am and will be chaired by Councillor Claire Hiscott.

The public are invited to ask questions and submit statements which will be used to inform the Written Statement of Action (WSoA) required by the recent Ofsted/Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of SEND in the local area.

Councillor Hiscott, Chair of the People Scrutiny Commission, said: “The People Scrutiny Commission wants to hear from parents, carers and anyone who has needed to access SEND provision in the city. This will help shape the way the council and partners make decisions by ensuring they reflect the opinions, wishes and priorities of the people of Bristol.”

“Anyone is welcome to ask questions or submit a statement, and we will ensure all your points are considered and help inform the Written Statement of Action. Improvements can only be made if the council involves and respects the views of people directly impacted by the current SEND provision.”

Any member of the public is welcome to attend the meeting with places on a first-come-first served basis, and can also submit questions up to three working days before the meeting. Statements can be submitted up to one full working day before the meeting.

Members of the independent Scrutiny Commission  may group individual questions into themes and will decide which questions will be answered at the session due to time constraints. All questions will be provided with a written answer at a later date or drafted into a Frequently Asked Questions with responses on the Local Offer Website. This event will also be livestreamed via the council website.

Questions and statements submitted from the public which relate specifically to Education and Health Care plans (EHCPs) will be taken into account at an evidence session held later in the afternoon – this session is closed to the public but the contents will be made publicly available. Recommendations about SEND from this session will then go to Cabinet for consideration on the 3 March.

Alison Hurley, Director for Education of Skills at Bristol City Council, who will speak at the meeting about the council’s next steps, said: “With our Written Statement of Action and SEND Improvement Plan we have a real opportunity to transform SEND services in Bristol with the voices of parents, carers and young people informing this process from the very beginning.”

Councillor Anna Keen, Education and Skills Cabinet Lead said: “We know how vital it is to capture the views and insights of families and young people with SEND, and we want to encourage as wide and diverse a range of opinions and experiences as possible.

“To do this, we have been running a series of engagement events in the lead up to this meeting to maximise the opportunity for people to tell us what they think about SEND. I urge all those with an interest in SEND to give us your feedback prior to this session and make sure your opinion counts.”

The public’s final opportunity to contribute to the WSoA SEND Improvement Plan, before its submission to Ofsted/CQC is at a drop-in event on Tuesday 25 February at The Foundation in Bristol - details are on the Local Offer website.

However, this meeting is not the last opportunity to tell the council what you think about SEND - regular drop-in events will be held throughout the year and you can find out more about this, and upcoming events, via the Local Offer website.

The council must submit its WSoA to Ofsted/CQC by the 23 March and is required to publish its contents by the 27 March.

The findings of the Ofsted/CQC inspection of SEND services across Bristol’s local area were published at the end of last year, highlighting areas for improvement as well as calling for a joint action plan with partners to deliver rapid progress and long-term change for families and young people with SEND.

Contact Information: Kathleen Manson, kathleen.manson@bristol.gov.uk