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(UK) Hertfordshire: More than 78 week wait for special needs help; 'widespread' 'systemic failure'

Nov 10, 2023, BBC News: Hertfordshire council's special needs service gets lowest rating

SE England

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Hertfordshire wait too long to be assessed and helped, inspectors have found.
Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission identified "widespread" and "systemic failings" in SEND provision.
The service received the lowest rating possible, with some children found to have been more than 78 weeks for help.

Hertfordshire Local Area Partnership has apologised to families.

'Poor quality'

The report found a significant shortage of specialist education places and delays in diagnosis, as well as long wait times to access speech and language services.

"Too many children and young people with SEND have to wait too long for their needs to be assessed and for suitable provision to be put in place to meet their needs," the report said….

"A significant number of parents feel they have no alternative but to educate their child at home while they are waiting for a place in a special school to become available."

Hertfordshire County Council and the NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board are part of the local area partnership responsible for planning and commissioning SEND services.

It has been given 35 days to publish a "priority action plan" and a monitoring inspection will be carried out within 18 months….


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