While Gloucestershire's services for children with special needs and disabilities are heading in the right direction, there is still some improvement required, according to a new report.

Inspectors from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) praised Gloucestershire's Local Area Partnership, responsible for these services, for its range of improvements.

However, the inconsistency of experiences and outcomes for all children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) was highlighted.


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The partnership, the joint responsibility of Gloucestershire County Council and NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, was inspected between Monday 11 to Friday, December 15 last year.

Inspectors reported that while improvements were evident, further enhancements were required to provide a consistent level of service across the board.

They recognised that the county council and NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board were committed to implementing such improvements.

The report recognized the partnership’s recent investment of £10 million into services supporting children and young people with additional needs.

It also commended the opening of Brook Academy, a £9.5 million special school in Brockworth.

In addition, it highlighted the creation of Sladewood Academy, a 60-place specialist primary school, and a proposed £16.5 million, 200-place special school to open in 2026.

Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member responsible for education at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "I am pleased that inspectors have seen the improvements that staff across the partnership have been working so hard to achieve.

"We welcome their guidance to help us further improve services.

"We recognise that not everybody’s experience has been as they would have wished and we know the areas where we need to make improvements and we are already moving in the right direction."

Mary Hutton, Chief Executive at NHS Gloucestershire, said: "I’m pleased that the report acknowledges the improvements made, and that inspectors recognise our partnership has a clear vision and ambition to achieve excellence.

"We know that there is more work to do, and we are committed to working closely with our families to ensure they are listened to, as we continue to improve and deliver the best possible services for the children and young people we serve."