Special needs children in Sheffield still missing out on vital education plans

Children with special needs in Sheffield are being failed – according to councillors who have voiced concerns over a report to council that said not enough have education healthcare plans.

The councillors discussed this issue in a audit and standards committee yesterday.

Cllr Mohammed Mahroof said: “Education Healthcare Plans needs to be made an emergency area because resources currently being allocated are relatively small.”

He added “The bottom line is we are still failing because parents and children need more support.”

The findings, covering the 20/21 period indicated the city is still below the national average for percentage of plans available for children with special needs.

Cllr  Sioned -Mair- Richards said that the results of the report were disappointing and lacking in detail.

She said: “what we want to know is what we got wrong, what we are doing and what are the timescales.”

An education healthcare plan is a legal document which describes a child’s education, health and social needs and sets out provisions to meet these needs accordingly.

Complaints issued to the council in the 20/21 decreased to 18 from 50 in the 19/20 period.

Cllr Tim Armstrong said: “We are making decisions about education healthcare plans on a weekly basis” and pointed the reduction in complaints towards plans as an indication of progress on the issue.

The number of children in Sheffield schools with special needs is currently 0.5% above the national average however the percentage of pupils with a education healthcare plan is 3.3% bellow the national average.

The main areas for improvement outlined in the report were for the council to continue to monitor the the ongoing impact of the pandemic on children with special needs in education and continue to maintain a grip on the performance of the timeliness and quality of education healthcare plans.

 

 

 

Written by James Dugdale

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