A REVIEW identifying areas where support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) could be strengthened will help inform a two-year strategy.

East Sussex County Council’s SEND team commissioned a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) of the local area to find out what was going well for children, young people and their families and what could be improved.

The outcome of the review will help the team, working with partners, to develop a strategy for 2022-24 which puts in place improvements and build on the successes.

Cllr Bob Standley, lead member education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, said: “It’s vital that any strategy we put in place helps us to provide the best service possible. This assessment has given us the opportunity to see where services work for our residents and, more importantly, where support we offer can be improved.

“We know that many of the pressures on SEND are not unique to East Sussex and are experienced by authorities across the country, but also know the importance of addressing the areas where the need for improvement was identified and, in many cases, work is already underway to do so.

“We are extremely grateful to our NHS and community and voluntary sector partners, East Sussex Parent Carer Forum, and the parents and carers who took time to give us candid feedback which will benefit families who rely on our support.”

After reviewing the current position across education, health and social care provision and services, the JSNA made recommendations for improvements including prioritising prevention, early identification and intervention; improving processes and capacity of services with the longest waiting time for assessment and treatment; and improving access to, and increasing provision for mental health support.

The report also highlighted areas where the ISEND service can build on successes including the continuing efforts to ensure the involvement of children, young people and their families in the development of provision and SEND training in schools.

As well as informing the SEND strategy, the outcome of the JSNA will help East Sussex County Council and partners set joint commissioning priorities, ensuring the appropriate support is in place for children and young people across East Sussex.

The full report can be viewed at http://www.eastsussexjsna.org.uk/comprehensive.