Portsmouth City Council, in collaboration with Portsmouth Parent Voice and Dynamite youth group, have launched their annual surveys, inviting young people aged 13 - 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and parents and carers of children 0 - 25 with SEND to give feedback about the services and support available and to help shape future services.
Over the past 4 to 5 years, Portsmouth City Council has made significant investment, totalling £11.49m, in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) accommodation across the city, including:
- schemes to reconfigure SEND accommodation to meet the needs of more complex pupils at Cliffdale (£3.10m) and Redwood Park (£3.05m)
- development of the Harbour Vocational Centre @ Vanguard (£3.26m)
- schemes to increase the number of SEND pupils that can be accommodated at The Willows Centre for Children (£400,000) and installation of ramps (£17,000)
- specialist accommodation in mainstream schools for example a sensory unit at St Edmund's (£557,000), and a hygiene room at The Portsmouth Academy (£18,000)
- smaller schemes to enable pupils with SEND to be accommodated in mainstream schools include disabled adaptations at Cumberland Primary School (£25,000) and Trafalgar (£100,000)
- development of additional accommodation for post-16 students with SEND - Portsmouth College (£280,000) and Highbury College (£690,000)
A recent Ofsted / Care Quality Commission report recognised the council's strong leadership in the provision of SEND services and their close collaboration with families as a particular strength.
Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Education at Portsmouth City Council, said: "Portsmouth is recognised at a national level for our excellence in the provision of services for young people with SEND and was praised recently for our strengths by Ofsted / CQC following the Local Area SEND inspection. We really value the input from young people, parents and carers in helping us to develop those services. We will continue to collaborate with them to get their input to shape future services in a way that works best for them and I urge everyone to complete the online surveys to help us with that work."
The SEND surveys - one for young people and one for parents and carers - are available online until 31st March and can be found on the Portsmouth Local Offer website at www.portsmouthlocaloffer.org