Sutton’s SEND progress recognised by Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families.

Photo of Vicky Ford MP and screenshot of letter

Published Wednesday, 29th July 2020

Sutton’s SEND services have received positive feedback from Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families.

The positive feedback follows on from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) confirming in May 2020 that Sutton’s Local Area services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has made “sufficient progress” and no longer requires a Written Statement of Action (WSOA).

Ms Ford wrote to officers at Sutton Council, thanking them for their efforts to improve SEND services:

“I was particularly encouraged by the joint working now taking place in Sutton across education, health and care - and by the impact this is having on children’s confidence; the quality of Education, Health and Care plans and feedback from parents.

“I know that this positive revisit report comes as the result of a great deal of commitment and hard work on the part of the local authority, the Clinical Commissioning Group, families and front line staff across education, health and social care.

“I am aware that local authorities are facing unprecedented pressures arising from the Covid-19 crisis and that you and your teams will be doing everything you can to keep children safe and deliver the support they need. I would like to thank you for all that you are doing to support some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society.”

The news corroborates the significant improvements to education services for children and young people with SEND in the borough that have been noted over the last two years by the DfE and NHS as well as the Council commissioned Independent Expert. SEND is a key area of the Council’s ambitious plans to provide children and young people with the best chances to achieve their best outcomes in life and prepare them effectively for adulthood.

At the time of the report, Councillor Marian James, Chair of the People Committee said:

“It is good to see services in Sutton for pupils with specific needs showing such strong improvement.

“The inspectors’ report is positive and noted the ‘seismic shift’ that has taken place, but we are not complacent: we are already focusing on the areas where we want to improve further.

“We’d like to thank all our partners, schools, parents and carers and young people for their input and ongoing support throughout this process. The inspectors’ report shows that through working together we can make a significant difference: we are committed to ongoing improvement in SEND provision in Sutton, which is a great place to live, work and raise a family. We will continue to work with parents and parents groups, particularly Sutton Parents Forum to ensure we build on these foundations.”

Image: Richard Townshend, Official portrait of Vicky Ford MP crop 2, CC BY 3.0