top of page

(UK) Nottingham: "Increasing demand" for SPED plans; 'waiting times too long'

Oct 3, 2023,Nottinghamshire Live: Nottingham council missing assessment target for children with special needs

E. Midlands

Many children require Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCs)

The Director of Education at Nottingham City Council, Nick Lee, said the delays were partly due to challenges with the recruitment of educational psychologists. He added that the authority is seeing increasing demand for support in special needs services for children.

Of all school children in Nottingham, 15.7 per cent of them have some form of special educational need and disability, or SEND. In January 2023, there were 1,411 children in the city with an EHC plan.

It comes after neighbouring authority Nottinghamshire County Council was criticised for “widespread failings” with its special needs services. A new inspection framework for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities came into effect in January 2023.

Nottinghamshire County Council and the local NHS – the Integrated Care Board (ICB) – were among the first to be rated under the new framework. They were criticised by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which found children and young people were waiting too long to receive educational health care plans (EHCs) and specialist help.

“The framework is rightly demanding and challenging. We do know that waiting times are too long. I’m not going to give you a prediction but there is an understanding of the challenges we need to focus on.”

Cllr Georgia Power (Lab) added: “It feels to me that there’s a huge issue in secondary schools with children who tend not to have [EHC] plans. In a few cases, the family have fought for plans for a number of years and been turned down, and it has then escalated to the point where it’s unmanageable.

“Some of them have been horrific and we’ve allowed children to get to that point, despite families being there fighting for them. I am concerned and wonder if we can do something for children who don’t get a plan. Lots of us know what the challenges are but we’ve not been delivering on it for a long time.”


bottom of page