Councillors and committees

Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Woodhatch Place, 11 Cockshot Hill, Reigate, Surrey ,RH2 8EF

Contact: Huma Younis or Sarah Quinn  Email: huma.younis@surreycc.gov.uk

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187/23

Apologies for Absence

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    Decision:

    Apologies were received from Marisa Heath and Paul Deach.

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Marisa Heath and Paul Deach.

188/23

Declarations of Interest

189/23

Procedural Matters

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189/231

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 171 KB

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    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    There was one member question. The question and responses were published in a supplement to the agenda.

     

    Minutes:

    There was one member question. The question and responses were published in a supplement to the agenda.

     

    The member asked a supplementary question, if the council’s policy of nobody being left behind was being met by the council only providing statutory services in relation to short breaks and respite care which was reducing positive outcomes for children with disabilities. The Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Lifelong Learning explained that the council did not have additional funds to invest into short breaks but an action had been taken away to review the access to play and leisure short breaks for families most in need. The member queried if Cabinet could reconsider the introduction of an early pre-school screening which included ASD to support increased nominations for Surrey's very successful local early autism program. The Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Lifelong Learning agreed to take this away and provide the member with a response in due course. With regards to children who have not had their health reviews it was queried if a breakdown of these numbers could be provided to check if some of these children were from areas of higher deprivation. The ICS Director of Multi-Professional Leadership and Chief Nurse agreed to take this away and provide the member with a response in due course.

     

    The Leader stated that if the council was successful in getting more funding from central government then this would be spent on short breaks and early help.

     

190/23

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 144 KB

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    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    There were four public questions. The questions and responses were published in a supplement to the agenda.

     

    Minutes:

    There were four public questions. The questions and responses were published in a supplement to the agenda.

     

    A member of the public asked a supplementary question, which was what consideration was being given to those most in need of an urgent neurodevelopment assessment as there was currently no pathway. The ICB Representative, Surrey Heartlands stated that the neurodevelopment pathway still remained open for children with complex needs and communication would be going out around what is available to children, families and schools in the following week. This would also be shared with Family Voice Surrey. It was recognised that there were a multitude of needs that children and schools wanted support with. Conversations would be happening withing the ICB around seeking further investment to support the demand for assessment. The Director of Children and Young People's Services – Mindworks explained that for those children not in school the neurodevelopmental pathway was available to them and any child for whom it might be indicated that they have neurodevelopmental needs. A referral could be made by any professional who is supporting that child and their family.

     

191/23

Petitions

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    Decision:

    There were none.

192/23

LOCAL AREA SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND/OR DISABILITIES (SEND) INSPECTION OUTCOME AND ACTIONS pdf icon PDF 208 KB

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    Decision:

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That Cabinet notes the outcome of the Local Area SEND Inspection.

    2.    That Cabinet supports the actions that are being taken by the Additional Needs and Disabilities Partnership in response to the inspection recommendations.

    3.    That Cabinet oversees the Council’s work as part of the AND Partnership and its delivery of the Inclusion and Additional Needs Strategy.

    Reasons for Decisions:

     

    The Local Area arrangements to support children with additional needs and disabilities were inspected by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) from 11to 29 September 2023. The outcome of the inspection was published on 24 November 2023.

    The inspection outcome is that the local area partnership’s arrangements lead to inconsistent experiences and outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Ofsted and CQC require the local area partnership to work jointly to update its existing strategic plan based on the recommendations set out in the inspection report.

    The recommendations and proposed responses are set out in this report. 

     

    Minutes:

    Introductions:

     

    The Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Lifelong Learning stated that the report published by Ofsted found inconsistent experiences and outcomes for children and young people led by the local area partnership. She reiterated that inconsistent as a grading was not good enough for Surrey’s children. It was vital partners work together to take forward findings and deliver improvements. The frustrations of families was recognised and the Cabinet Member apologised that parents were struggling to access the support they needed. A rating of inconsistent meant that there were still some children that had good experiences and outcomes. There were national challenges around additional needs and disabilities which were not unique to just Surrey. In Surrey between January 2015 and October 2023 the number of EHCPs issued rose by 150%. The local area partnership was continuing to work with government in relation to policy reform and funding, ultimately to achieve better outcomes for all children across the SEND system. The priority was to ensure that necessary changes are made to services to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children, young people and their families.

     

    The ICS Director of Multi-Professional Leadership and Chief Nurse stated that action against the four key recommendations from the inspection report was paramount. Although the report recognised areas of improvements there was still more to do. From a health perspective, change would be led in relevant areas for improvement and then reported back through the additional needs Partnership Board in line with local and inspection requirements and also reported back to Surrey Heartlands and Frimley executive teams.

     

    School Leader, Anne-Louise Payne explained how schools and families had been involved with the inspection. She was pleased that it had been recognised in the inspection that communication between education and colleagues in health and social care was improving. More colleagues from education had been encouraged to join the Additional Needs Partnership Board to have more of a voice and contribute to collaborative working. Tribute was paid to school based staff, many of whom are amongst the lowest paid in the profession and who supported some of the most vulnerable learners.

     

    The Executive Director for Children, Families and Lifelong Learning stated that in the Children, Families and Lifelong service the ambition along with partners, is that the local area partnerships arrangements for children with additional needs and disabilities will lead to positive experiences and outcomes for children and young people with SEND and should improvements be needed the partnership takes prompt action. There was still some way to go to achieve this. It was explained that a recovery plan had been put in place to tackle delays in education, health and care needs assessments. Additional resource would be put into communications with a lead officer for communications so parents and families can find information more easily. An additional communication team would be established to be the first point of contact for enquiries from families and stakeholders.

     

    The Chief Executive for Family Voice Surrey welcomed the report and explained  ...  view the full minutes text for item 192/23