Care and support for children and families
Deadline date for responses
09 March 2019
Deadline time for responses
Details of consultation
We're seeking your views on our draft strategy for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The aim of this strategy is to set out the goals we would like to achieve over the next three years to work towards achieving our vision and to reflect the changes in the law about how we support children and their families. We want to meet the new legal requirements in a way that is inclusive and realistic in a time of growing demand and in a very challenging financial climate. This strategy serves to provide a sense of direction and will support future planning in a time of significant change. It seeks to address those issues which are of principal concern at this stage and which, when achieved, will have maximum impact on the delivery of effective and efficient services.
The strategy has been produced by officers, partners and special schools in the first instance, but must reflect the views of parents, carers and young people from Wokingham as well as wider partners in the voluntary sector and the whole school sector. It is built upon a shared belief that considering and providing for the needs of children and young people with SEND should be everyone’s business, with the aim of providing effective services which will enable children and young people to thrive. It also reflects our Borough vision, for a borough that nurtures individual responsibility, assists those who are unable to be self-sufficient and promotes equality of opportunity.
We spend around £18.5 million a year across various agencies and services for children and young people with SEND. We also know that we are overspending our budget by £2.5 million this year and this is set to rise if we do not do things differently. There is also a significant overspend in our home to school transport budget. Central government expect us to have a plan to remove that deficit and this strategy is part of our plan to achieve this balance of resources.
We already know that we can coordinate our services better and the draft strategy explains how we can achieve this. It sets out plans to organise services and budgets so that children and young people with SEND do even better in the future.