We work closely with our colleagues in Newcastle and Gateshead councils to provide services and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (sometimes known as SEND).
- Commissioning services for children and young people (up to age 25) with special educational needs and disabilities, including those who have Education Health and Care plans (EHCPs). An education, health and care plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.
- Working with local authorities to contribute to the ‘local offer’ of services available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
- Working to ensure that practitioners and clinicians support the education, health and care needs assessment process.
- Agreeing personal budgets, where they are provided for children and young people with EHCPs (Education, Health and Care Plans).
This work is outlined in the Special education needs and disability (SEND) code of practice.
SEND revisit in Newcastle upon Tyne
Between 11 and 13 May 2021, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revisited the area of Newcastle upon Tyne to decide whether sufficient progress has been made in addressing each of the significant weaknesses detailed in the previous inspection report published on 22 June 2018.
We know there is more to do, but we are making real progress in improving services for our families. Things like better Education Health and Care assessments, improved speech and language services and higher take-up of annual health checks for young people with a disability are all making a difference in people’s lives.
We’re still working hard to improve services further, and our thanks go to the children, young people and families whose feedback and ideas are helping us to make the right changes for their needs.
The area has made sufficient progress in addressing three of the four significant weaknesses identified at the initial inspection. This letter outlines our findings from the revisit.
Download / view the letter and main findings here.
Following our SEND revisit earlier in the year our Accelerated Progress Plan has been approved by the Department for Education, please see related documents. Our plan was produced in partnership with Newcastle’s Parent and Carer Forum and with representatives from the SEND Executive Board.
It sets out the how we intend to tackle the area of weakness identified in the original inspection which was judged insufficient at the revisit and where we need to make rapid progress; Area leaders should establish effective arrangements to identify the impact of the area’s work on improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND. We will continue to work in partnership with our parent carer forum, CCG and all members of our SEND Executive Board to improve the lived experience of our children and young people with SEND and their families. We will be meeting with The DfE and NHS England throughout the year to review progress made.
Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have sent us the letter following their revisit in May. This will be published on their website on 25th June. The letters shows much progress that Newcastle has made to improve services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) since the inspection of SEND services in 2018.
You will see that the inspectors found that Newcastle has made sufficient progress in three out of four areas identified in the original inspection in: strategic leadership, joint commissioning and co-production, but that we need to accelerate progress in identifying the impact of our work in improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND.
Inspectors identified a number of strengths in Newcastle and I want to thank you all for everything that you do on a daily basis to improve the lives of our children and young people with SEND.
The inspectors acknowledged our ambition for children and young people with SEND. That we want them to have a voice; be safe, happy and included; be well cared for; and be ready for the world of work. But we currently do not have a way of measuring progress made towards these goals. This will be a key feature of our improvement plan. Inspectors also noted that attendance for children with SEND is too low and exclusions too high.
Inspectors acknowledge that we have plans in place to address the areas that they have identified, and we have co-produced with our parent/carer forum and all appropriate partners an accelerated progress plan.
Gateshead Autism Information Hub
The Autism Information Hub is a volunteer-run Gateshead Council service which offers information, advice, support and signposting for anyone affected by autism, which includes parents, carers and family members, autistic individuals, professionals and practitioners.
The Autism Hub operates out of the Elgin Children’s Centre in Deckham, where they hold monthly drop-in sessions for visitors to meet members of the team and discuss any challenges they’re having, receive advice, browse our extensive information files, or chat informally over a coffee and cake. These sessions are attended by autism practitioners from various services.
Hub visitors have access to the Elgin Centre’s excellent sensory room, free of charge – there is exclusive use of the room for the drop-ins but shared use for the support group.
Parents, carers, professionals and practitioners are welcome to join the The Autism Hub Facebook Group to access further information.
Find out more
‘Local Offer’ websites outline what families of children with special educational needs and disabilities can expect from local agencies: