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Special needs services impress Children and Families Minister

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Ministerial Visit to ALNS 080519 web
Left to Right: Nys Hardingham, Head Teacher at Admiral Lord Nelson School; Julia Katherine, Head of Inclusion at Portsmouth City Council; Nadhim Zahawi, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families; Cllr Suzy Horton, cabinet member for Education at Portsmouth City Council; Alison Jeffery, Director of Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council; Mike Stoneman, Deputy Director of Education at Portsmouth City Council.

Nadhim Zahawi, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, visited Portsmouth last week to discuss inclusion and provision for students in the city with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and to meet with pupils and school staff to hear about their experiences first hand.

At the Admiral Lord Nelson School, a mainstream school rated 'good' by Ofsted, which has a strong inclusive ethos, head teacher, Nys Hardingham, who also chairs the city's Inclusion Group, said: "It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to show the Minister our effective provision and to discuss the difference that this is making for our students.”

Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “Our ambition is for high quality services in every local area for all children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). The Admiral Lord Nelson School is doing amazing work for children with SEND in helping them to integrate more effectively into mainstream lessons. The high needs budget is over £6bn this year – up from £5bn last year, and we will continue to work with councils to improve the education of children who need the most support.”

Cllr Suzy Horton, cabinet member for Education at Portsmouth City Council, said: "It was an honour to be able to demonstrate our commitment to SEND services to the Minister on his visit today. We are proud to co-ordinate the South East region SEND network on behalf of all 19 local areas in the South East and we continue to work with parents and carers to get their input to shape future services in a way that works best for them and their children."

A recent survey of Portsmouth parents and carers of young people aged zero to 25 with SEND showed that 85% of parents responding felt that the council listened to issues they raised, demonstrating the ongoing high levels of collaboration between the council, local service providers and parents.

To find out more about the services available for children with SEND, please visit the Portsmouth Local Offer website at http://www.portsmouthlocaloffer.org

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