26 May 2016

Our  latest SNIX magazine was issued in time for half term holiday. The commissioned summer placement schemes are advertised and have already been widely shared through social media, but please note that the ones that run in the schools are only open to the pupils at that school. We have told the commissioners already your comments about this.

I really fancy going on the Nene Valley Railway session in August in Peterborough. ( page 26)  It looks like a great day out. (Other heritage train routes are available locally for railway enthusiasts).  

Over the last month, Leanne has been off to see what happens at a speech and language clinic. She was especially interested as her degree was in psychology and development of communication is a key part.
She attended the Speech and Language Therapy Assessment clinic in Northampton where children are referred by their health visitors if the child has a stammer or is struggling to use language effectively. There are generally three children that attend during a morning. The children play with toys whilst a specialist nurse listens and makes an assessment on the child's  use of language while the Speech and Language therapist talks with mum and dad.  The therapist will  go on to complete a formal assessment with the child, where the child talks and names objects from a picture book.  The therapist will take notes about how the child is using language and highlight anything that is unusual. The two assessments ( from the specialist nurse and speech therapist) are compared and a decision is made whether the child needs to work with the specialist team  or  whether the child’s  nursery / playgroup can do exercises  with the child or whether to check their progress at a later date. 
For a referral please talk with your child’s health visitor, school or nursery, GP or consultant. All referrals should be sent to the Referral Management Centre.  (This is a  single point of access for professionals to make referrals to children and young people's specialist health services. The aim is to ensure that children and young people are seen by the right health professional(s), with the right skills,  the first time)  There are two new speech and language clinics opening soon, one in Wellingborough and one in Corby.

The SEND area inspection framework  was released by Ofsted and CQC  at the end of April and a link can be found on the Local Offer.  The inspection will visit schools, hospitals and clinics as well as the LA to see how effectively the reforms have been implemented. Most importantly, parents and young people will also be given an opportunity to have their say with the inspectors. These inspections will evaluate how effectively the partners in a  local area meets their  responsibilities. Ofsted will inspect the education and care element and CQC will inspect the health element. The Local Authority is now ensuring that all partners in the reforms understand the inspection framework and how they will be affected by it.

The inspection leads to a published report that provides us all  with an assessment of how well we are meeting the needs of children and young people ( with SEND) and how well we work together to for positive outcomes. It will also inform the Secretary of State for Education how well are performing  and will promote improvements in education health and social care provision.  It can also require the local area to consider actions to improve.

The inspection framework was implemented on May 1st 2016 and we will be given five days notice to prepare for a five day inspection.   All local areas will be inspected at least once during a five year period.  The outcomes of the inspection will be reported in a letter and the judgements will be in narrative form. The letter will outline areas of strength and key priorities for improvement. It will be published on the Ofsted and CQC websites, usually within 33 days of the end of an inspection.

The inspection of the local area will cover and report on the following key aspects in arriving at a judgement about the effectiveness of the local area:

  • the effectiveness of the local area in identifying children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • the effectiveness of the local area in assessing and meeting the needs of  those children and young people  and 
  • the effectiveness of the local area in improving outcomes for  its children and young people

Northamptonshire, as a pathfinder authority, has been passionate about making the changes to the legislation,  led by Gwyn Botterill with the intention that the changes will have a positive impact on our families in Northamptonshire.  She wants Northamptonshire to be able to show how well it has embraced the change, and will be the nominated officer to co-ordinate the logistics when the inspection happens.


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