Brighton & Hove City Council has developed a new SEND Strategy for children and young people aged 0-25. The strategy has been a positive collaboration, and a thoughtful piece of engagement work, led by Georgina Clarke-Green, Assistant Director, Health, SEN and Disability. PaCC was actively involved representing parent carers in the city, and their children and young people, working alongside colleagues from education, health and social care. The strategy articulates the broader issues that families and children and young people frequently feedback.
Georgina Clarke- Green says ‘The delivery of such an ambitious strategy will present challenges, particularly in light of the Covid pandemic; however, there is a determination across the city to overcome any barriers, working in partnership with our NHS and community voluntary sector to meet the objectives. Thereby ensuring that Brighton and Hove is one of the very best places to live if you have a special educational need or disability.’
PaCC very much welcome Georgina’s ambition and commitment to the SEND community and partnership work. PaCC report that a good level of co-production with families took place to inform the new strategy, which included consultation with parent carers of BAME children and young people. The community will be attentive to see that the recommendations from this BAME consultation are addressed across all priority work-streams. PaCC reps will act as critical friends to support and challenge officers to progress all of the recommendations, and that scrutiny of progress is monitored and officers leading are held accountable.
PaCC welcome the focus on aspiration for children and young people, however we realise that for our children and families, the strategy needs to go beyond aspirational: it must be a strategy grounded in the reality of children and young people’s lives, which will enable them to live equitable and good lives, and be included in our city. PaCC is clear to officers and councillors that resourced delivery is required to deliver the strategy to ensure our children and young people receive the care and support they need. PaCC stress the importance that advice and support services, social care services, both in house and CVS, and youth services remain critical to supporting families and progressing good outcomes as outlined in the new strategy.
PaCC highlight that good co-production can lead to very positive improvements, as has been shown in recent Home to School Transport provision, and this commitment is the needed bedrock for the SEND strategy. PaCC reps look forward to undertaking the ongoing work with Georgina and her colleagues. We will keep you informed on progress and we welcome your feedback too.
The final bit of work of putting the signed off strategy into published format is happening now and will be available via BHCC, PaCC and Amaze websites early in January 2021, including an easy read version designed with Speak Out.