National study ranks Herefordshire second best performing council in England for supporting children with high needs

Herefordshire has been recognised as second in England for supporting for children with high needs in a recent study that rates all the local authority areas.

A study by the independent consultancy IMPOWER looked at 39 national data sets to measure value within high needs funding and the outcomes for high needs children to rate council’s overall performance.

The results of the study can be viewed on the IMPOWER website.

Parents in Herefordshire join those across England today (Tuesday 16 April), with finding out which primary school their child will be attending in September 2019.

Chris Baird, Director for Children and Families, said: “We are pleased that the study recognises the great work that people in Herefordshire carry out for children and young people with high needs.  The fact that we’ve been listed as second in the top ten of local authority areas for high needs is a tribute to the children and young people themselves, their parents and carers and all those that educate, care and support them and that’s something for everyone to take pride in.

“The council has worked constructively over many years with children and young people, parents and carers, early years settings, schools, colleges, partner services, community and voluntary groups and the private sector to focus on this area, to improve the education, care and support.  Our work with schools has meant that financially Herefordshire is in a much more balanced place than many other local areas. However, this is still an area of huge challenge in terms of finances for the public sector.

“We don’t always get it right for every child or young person and their families and carers, but we acknowledge this and we are constantly striving to improve our collective work with children and young people with high needs and their families.  Herefordshire as a whole can help more by providing more opportunities to include children and young people with high needs in activities and opportunities that will give them a great start in life and help them feel part of the community as they move into adulthood.

Councillor Felicity Norman, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, added: “The outcome of the study is extremely reassuring for Herefordshire families with high needs children, especially at a time when the demand for education, health and care services and special school places continues to rise.

“The council will continue to improve our services to drive the best possible outcomes for our children, whatever their individual needs.”

Published: Monday, 8th July 2019