County Council promises improvements for youngsters with special needs

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Children and young people can look forward to improved services and provision for special educational needs and disability (SEND) from this month

Lincolnshire County Council has been working with parents, carers and schools over the summer, covering all aspects of a child’s journey from early years through to the age of 25, to ensure quality services are in place.

New government legislation sets a number of significant changes to children and young people with SEND.

The new approach will see:

*A cohesive integrated system of support for children and young people with special educational needs and disability up to the age of 25, delivering support when and where they need it.

*Effective joint planning between education, health and care services to jointly commission support for children, young people and their families.

*A clear ‘Local Offer’ of services and support available, reviewed regularly with families to maintain and improve them as required.

*SEN statements and learning difficulties assessment systems are replaced with a more cohesive assessment process for quicker decisions and more effective support.

*The option for all young people and parents of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan to hold personal budgets if they wish.

*Improved support for young people in their transition to adulthood.

Councillor Mrs Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for Children’s Services, said: “This is about developing and improving the way children with special educational needs and disability are identified, assessed and supported.

“The present system can be too slow and difficult to navigate for many parents and their children and it needs to be made fit for purpose, providing excellent support when and where it is needed.

“The input of children, young people and families has been vital in helping us to shape the services that will make a difference to them.

“We want to make sure that what we have in place provides the best options for children and families in Lincolnshire.”

The council is continuing to liaise with key partners – early years settings, schools, colleges, health organisations, social care and voluntary organisations – and services will be constantly reviewed and updated as partners continue to work with families.

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