Damning Report by Parents reveals the state of the County's SEND Service
Prior to Thursday's meeting, members of the Children and Young People's Cabinet Panel were shocked to receive a damning survey from 170 members of the SEND National Crisis Hertfordshire revealing the failure of the Conservative run County Council's SEND service to provide support for them, communicate with them, and oversee the assistance their children desperately need. The comments from the parents highlighted the drastic impact that these failings are having on them and their children. It was equally damning that the Chair dismissed this report as representing the views of only 170 families out of 7000, and officers were unable to clarify the true state of workload pressures their teams have to work under.
This report was in stark contrast with the County's new SEND Strategy 2022-25 and the communication exercise that underpinned it which set out the County's plans "to continuously improve the support for Children and Young People with SEND and their families over the next 3 years." The failure by the County to truly engage with parents was revealed by the fact that less than 150 parents had attended any of the 4 launch events and the Social Media strategy generated 29 posts on Facebook and 27 posts on Twitter.
County Councillor Mark Watkin commented "It is all very well having a good strategy, but it counts for nothing if the County does not provide sufficient officers to support and advise families. It is deeply worrying that the County has failed and fails to communicate with its families. This is no criticism of individual officers, but there are just not enough of them. The Conservative run Administration has to bite the bullet and resource this service properly otherwise the misery and the life changing damage to these children will continue."