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Middlesbrough's special needs services for young people given highest possible rating

Children and young people

Friday, 08 December 2023
Cllr Philippa Storey

Services for children and young people in Middlesbrough with special needs have been given the highest possible rating following an inspection.

The town’s local area partnership’s provision for those with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) was assessed in October.

And a report released today outlines the verdict from the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection.

Inspectors found the arrangements typically lead to positive experiences and outcomes for children and young people with SEND and that the local area partnership is taking action where improvements are needed.

The inspectors described children and young people with SEND in Middlesbrough as ‘valued, visible and included’ and typically able to receive the right help at the right time, while good relationships are maintained with schools and the local parent carer forum.

The report states: “Their education, health and care needs are identified accurately and assessed in a timely and effective way.”

Areas highlighted for improvement include work to reduce suspensions, improved access to learning disability services, improvements to the quality of Education, Health & Care plans and timeliness of Annual Reviews.

Councillor Philippa Storey, Middlesbrough Council’s  Executive member for Education, said: “The support we provide for our young people with special needs and disabilities is one of the most important duties we have.

“The findings in this latest report are both reassuring and encouraging, it’s the highest possible outcome within the inspection framework and shows just how seriously that work is taken by all involved.

“There is always room for improvement however, and any areas highlighted by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will be addressed as a priority, making sure our children have the brightest possible future.”

David Purdue, Executive Chief Nurse with the NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: "It's really positive to see the sustained progress made by colleagues in the ICB and the Council has been recognised by the CQC and Ofsted in their report.

"We will continue working closely with local families and the Parent Carer Forum to ensure that children and young people with SEND can access the best quality services possible."

The local area partnership will publish an updated strategic plan in response to the inspection recommendations.

The next full area SEND inspection will be within five years.