Havering named one of the best councils for special needs pupils

Havering Council has been named as one of the best performing councils for supporting children with high educational needs

A new list ranks the borough amongst those achieving greater than average outcomes for children with high needs from a less than average spend per head.

Released by IMPOWER, which seeks to improve public services, it measured the demands, provisions and outcomes of the services Havering provides for children with special educational needs and disabilities, pupils in alternative provision and excluded pupils.

Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families, said: “This is a fantastic accolade for everyone, from the local authority and the educational settings, to the children and the parents who support them.

“We’ve worked hard to provide the best services to help the children’s learning and development, while keeping the costs down.”

In the past year, Havering has built two new specialist units that are attached to mainstream schools and plans are underway to build more in primary and secondary schools. The units provide space and support for the children while maintaining their attachment to a mainstream school.

Early intervention was also key to the council’s success. It has advisory teachers and assistants who go into schools to observe and assess children and then provide advice and strategies to promote the learning of children with special educational needs.

Les Jones, Director of IMPOWER, said: “Councils in England spend currently spend over £7 billion a year on high needs. Our ranking highlights those councils who are getting the best outcomes for children and young people with additional needs, per pound spent.

“We publish this list every year because we want to prompt a discussion around the question ‘what are we achieving for the money spent?’ We want to encourage councils to learn from each other.”

In 2019, Havering was ranked in the top 15 of IMPOWER’s most productive councils for adult social care.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]