Minister for children and families SEND Review

NNPCF Steering Group meeting with Minister Will Quince

On Tuesday 18th January the NNPCF Steering group met with the Parliamentary Undersecretary for Children and Families Minister Will Quince.

It was a 45-minute meeting where we gave the Minister stories of why and what we need to be included into the SEND review. The subjects included:

  • The importance of national clarity about what should be ordinarily available and how this feed into every aspect of a child and young person’s outcomes.

o What happens when these ordinarily services available aren’t clearly set out.

o The importance of services working together, our example was transport

o How local variations can damage outcomes and services

  • The need for clear accountability in the system, between local authorities, schools and regional schools commissioners
  • The need for listening to families on local decisions and the importance of coproduction at all levels.

We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to feed into the review and the consultation that follows. We have asked that communications for the consultation is made clear and the process that follows.

We have offered to support the communications, to enable as many people to engage with the consultation as much as possible.

Jo Gilliland, the NNPCF steering group member for the North East said after the meeting, ““We are all aware of the need for clear accountability in the system between local authorities, schools and regional schools commissioners, I had the opportunity to inform Minister Quince of a situation within my region (North East & Cumbria) where the impact of the lack of accountability, is having wide reaching implications for a cohort of young people and their families. Not only is this situation leading to distress, but the reality of the situation is such that there may not be any further suitable post 16 provision in borough, which in turn leads to families seeking more costly suitable provision (and transport) out of borough. The impact upon the education, life skills, peer relationships, mental

health and future prospects of these young people is great, especially if no suitable provision can be found. Minister Quince, agreed that systems need to be held accountable for such decisions and the need to work together jointly to ensure accountability is paramount.”

Sarah Clarke, the NNPCF steering group member for the South East commented that, “The Minister too was onboard with how a well-defined Ordinarily Available improves how local services work together, increases family’s confidence when speaking to services and allocates clear areas of responsibility across the services.”

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