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(UK) Cheshire: 25% of kids not assessed; "additional support... ‘significantly delayed’."

May 26, 2022, Northwich Guardian: SEND inspection in Cheshire West finds assessments 'significantly delayed'

NW England

A QUARTER of children in Cheshire West and Chester did not have a key development check to help spot special needs and disabilities by the time they were 12 months old, government inspectors found.

A joint inspection of the council’s special education needs and disabilities (SEND) service for young people by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) earlier this year also found that one in every five children had not had a development check at the age of two-and-a-half.

Inspectors said this was because the 0-19 universal health services had low staffing levels, and that leaders had attempted to support families in the borough by using different professional such as nursery workers to undertake the reviews.

But the inspection report, which was discussed by the council’s health and wellbeing board yesterday (Wednesday) said that the number of children receiving a key developmental check was ‘still below expected targets'.

The report also found amendments to education, health and care assessment (EHC) plans, which set out the requirements of young people who have been assessed to need additional support, were ‘significantly delayed’.

"Some parents described the annual review process as ‘a waste of time’. For some children and young people, this impacts negatively on their transition from one setting to another.” It also found the educational psychology service lacked the required capacity because the department had struggled to recruit additional psychologists. …

Ofsted and the CQC carried out an inspection of SEND services at Cheshire West and Chester.


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