Sunday Sun - - News -

“In some ar­eas, we’ve made great strides over the last 12 to 18 months. The re­port ac­knowl­edges new lead­er­ship struc­tures which are now in place, and com­mends the ac­tion plans that have been de­vel­oped.

“These com­bined pro­vide a secure platform to tackle is­sues and im­prove­ments re­quired head-on. We know we need to make more progress in im­ple­ment­ing the re­cent re­forms.

“Across the whole UK though, de­mand for ser­vices is in­creas­ing and Northum­ber­land faces sim­i­lar chal­lenges to many other lo­cal-au­thor­ity ar­eas.

“We’re de­ter­mined to ad­dress these, and have firm plans in place across all ser­vice ar­eas to ex­pe­dite im­prove­ments as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“Ad­di­tional sup­port where it is needed has been put in place, and we’ve al­ready in­vested in de­vel­op­ments such as the ex­ten­sion at the Pri­ory School in Hex­ham to pro­vide ad­di­tional school places, which have been wel­comed.

“We’ll con­tinue to work at pace to ensure im­prove­ments are made where they are needed, and have drawn up an ac­tion plan to ensure that we ad­dress the find­ings of this re­port in a timely man­ner.

“We look for­ward to work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively with the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion and the Depart­ment of Health and So­cial Care to de­velop our SEND pro­vi­sion in the county. County Hall, Mor­peth

“We would also like to thank all par­ents, car­ers, chil­dren and young peo­ple who took part in the in­spec­tion and we look for­ward to work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively with them in the fu­ture.”

The re­port said there is “grow­ing con­fi­dence, which is ex­em­pli­fied by the strength­en­ing part­ner­ship be­tween lead­ers and the lo­cal par­ent and carer fo­rum, In It To­gether”.

El­iz­a­beth John­ston, chair­man of In It To­gether, said: “In It To­gether was very pleased that so many par­ents and car­ers took part in the in­spec­tion and shared their per­sonal sto­ries, en­sur­ing that the in­spec­tors got to hear from fam­i­lies about their ex­pe­ri­ences and chal­lenges. The in­spec­tion has iden­ti­fied a num­ber of key is­sues on which we will fo­cus in part­ner­ship with of­fi­cers from the lo­cal au­thor­ity, health ser­vices, vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions and lo­cal groups.

“We aim, as al­ways, to ensure that a wide range of fam­i­lies are able to in­put into plans go­ing for­ward. We will be hold­ing events and meetings around the county at our lo­cal­ity meeting ven- ues so that par­ents views are in­cor­po­rated into fu­ture plans.

“We want to sup­port Northum­ber­land to im­prove ser­vices, so that the im­pact is felt on the ground by ev­ery­one. We hope that the cul­ture of par­ents and pro­fes­sion­als work­ing to­gether as equal part­ners leads to bet­ter out­comes for chil­dren and young peo­ple with ad­di­tional or SEND. Our aim is to rep­re­sent the views of as many fam­i­lies as pos­si­ble; and con­tin­u­ing to de­velop re­cent good co-pro­duc­tion with the lo­cal au­thor­ity.”

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