Thursday, 28 February 2013

Epic fail: issuing statements within 26 weeks

Council performance monitoring data was released today. The Council continues to fail to meet its statutory requirements to issue statements within 26 weeks (excluding exceptions). Unless it has a spectacular final quarter, performance for 2012-13 will be worse than 2011-12. The Council has not met its target for at least five years.

Report date 26 Feb 2013, full Quarterly Performance and Budget Report here

The report was discussed at a meeting of the Council Executive on the same date. Excerpt from the minutes:

572. Quarter 3 Performance Monitoring Report...
County Councillor Tony Hall acknowledged that KPI 20, relating to the issue of Statements of Special Educational Needs within 26 weeks had not improved, though he stressed that the narrative in the report explained why. He said that there were remaining issues arising from the establishment of the Foremost School, which was not quite ready for the numbers of pupils intended and there had also been staffing issues in Business Support, which were being addressed. He stressed that it was not possible to indicate the level of demand in the next quarter but said that Members should bear in mind the quality of statements issued, as well as their timeliness. David O’Brien, Performance and Outcomes Officer for Children and Young People’s Service, said that officers would undertake an analysis of how far outside the target period statements were being issued, so that an assessment could be made of whether any delays caused by seeking to achieve a positive outcome were themselves only marginal.County Councillor Gareth Dadd noted that the failure to meet the target for the issue of Statements of Special Educational Needs had been going on for a number of years and he said he regarded it as very disappointing that this still had not been resolved. Richard Flinton, Chief Executive Officer, added that the issue clearly needed further investigation and he assured Members that officers were going to carry that out. 

Side note: The former Director of Children's Services called for an investigation into the delays back in  January 2012, which was ignored - see this blog post 

When will the Council take its duties towards children with SEN seriously?