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Luton Borough Council

13/12/2022 - Joint area SEND revisit highlights progress has been made

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have confirmed this week that Luton has made sufficient progress in addressing all of the significant weaknesses identified by inspectors in the 2018 Local Area SEND inspection.

The council and Luton Clinical Commissioning Group (now replaced by the NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board) were jointly responsible for implementing a Written Statement of Action to determine how the five areas of weakness would be addressed.

Ofsted and CQC inspectors revisited the area in October and spoke with children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), parents and carers, and professionals from across Luton. They looked at a range of information including the area’s improvement plans and self-evaluation, SEND strategy and reviewed education, health and care (EHC) plans.

We’re pleased that inspectors acknowledged that we now have a coordinated approach across the Luton system to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND. In addition, we have worked hard to engage with children and young people and their families to determine what is needed in Luton and have co-produced services and initiatives including supported accommodation projects, and developing a wider post-16 educational offer for children and young people with SEND.

Following the inspection in 2018, a new SEND information advice support service (LutonSENDIAS) was created in consultation with parents, children and young people with SEND and health partners. Parents and carers provided positive feedback to inspectors about the service citing the difference it makes.

Work is continuing to overcome some of the barriers associated with speech and language support and ensuring the provision identified in EHC plans is implemented effectively.

Cllr Tahmina Saleem, Portfolio Holder with responsibility for children’s services, said: “We are extremely proud of the progress we have made so far. The commitment, resilience and hard efforts of staff across the Luton area over the past four years has had a significant impact on improving outcomes for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

“Although we have made sufficient progress across all five areas of weakness identified in the 2018 Local Area SEND inspection, we are not complacent, we are fully aware that further improvements are still required. We will continue to listen to and work with parents, carers, children and young people so that we can deliver services that will meet their needs and ensure they have the best chances of achieving their goals and aspirations.”

Anne Murray, Director of Nursing for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, said: “We have a strong partnership across Luton in health services, education and social care. We will continue to listen and learn with each other, ensuring that parents, carers and children and young people work with us in partnership so that we continue to improve.”

The full result of the joint area SEND revisit can be viewed on our special educational needs and disabilities webpage. 


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