An Ofsted report into Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) services in Kensington and Chelsea has found the service to be the best of any local authority in the country.
The report finds that:
- Leaders have high aspirations for the ambitions of young people with SEND
- Co-production and the voices of children, young people and their families steers the development of the service
- Staff have been creative during Covid-19 reaching families with resources during lockdowns and implementing a well-considered Covid-19 recovery plan in recent months
- Children and young people accessing the services achieve well and are supported with development, education, and employment
- Only four areas of development were raised by Ofsted.
The Council has invested in centres that provide support to SEND children and their families, including a £350k contribution to the refurbishment of St Quintin Centre in North Kensington (video on the council’s Twitter).
Parent of a local SEND child, Helen, who visited the newly furbished St Quintin Centre, said: “I know my children are safe here and they are well taken care of. During the last two years it was really hard because of Covid – I missed the centre badly – but the staff listen and understand our
While Covid-19 offered minimal concern to the physical health of children and young people, the potential mental and developmental impact of the pandemic has been a source of anxiety for parents and professionals. The Ofsted report notes that staff in Kensington and Chelsea’s SEND services acted quickly and creatively, sending activity and resource packs home to families, and adapting spaces so that in-person care could be safely provided.
Cllr Josh Rendall, Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Lead Member for Family and Children’s Services, said: “This is an amazing achievement by everyone in Kensington and Chelsea, with an unprecedented result.
“I would like to thank everyone who contributed to ensure children are receiving the best SEND services in the country. Far from becoming Covid-19’s 'forgotten generation', children with SEND in Kensington and Chelsea have remained firmly in the foreground.
“Co-design between our hardworking staff and well-engaged families, many of whom are expertly supported by our local Parent Carer Forum, Full of Life, has produced services that are effective and adaptable, and which I am immensely proud of.”