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(UK) Suffolk: Only 23% of SPED plans done on time

June 10, 2023, East Anglian Daily Times: SEND parent on council not meeting legal timeframes 

A parent has said it is "unsurprising" that the county is one of the lowest in meeting legal timeframes for educational plans for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), after new figures were released.

The comments come following statistics from Ofsted, published on Wednesday, that found that Suffolk came 19th out of 147 local authorities rated for meeting legal timeframes in 2022.

Inspections were published from authorities across England last year, along with timeliness rates in 2022. . . .

The rate of EHC plans finalised by the deadline, without exceptions, was 49.2 nationally, and 22.8 in Suffolk.

Natasha Sones, who lives in Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, says the council has still not provided an EHC plan for her ten-year-old son Logan within the timeframe.

"This is not a surprise, and I know many people who are still waiting for EHCPs, myself included, beyond the legal timeframe," Ms Sones said.

"We have had an assessment from an educational psychologist but still waiting for the EHCP. We originally applied in October. We are still in the same frustrating situation."

In January, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) jointly inspected Suffolk County Council's SEND services and found "widespread and/or systemic failings".

A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council said: “In partnership with our NHS colleagues, we have significant plans in place to reform SEND services.

“These plans are rightly scrutinised and monitored by outside experts, including the Department for Education, and we are held accountable for the pace and effectiveness of improvement at every stage.

"This improvement includes the timeliness of issuing education, health and care plans.

“We recognise that services haven’t been good enough, but the council remains committed to delivering the best for our children and young people.”


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