Suffolk County Council are set to discuss the plans for the SEND Improvement Board after its launch later this week.

On Tuesday, June 11, the county council's audit committee will discuss the future plans for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Suffolk. 

The committee is set to approve the plans for a new Local Area SEND governance arrangements interface which will help the wider council and the Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to be updated on the progress of the SEND Improvement Board. 

The plan states that quarterly SEND updates will be sent to the full Council along with an information bulletin provided to each committee. 

The cabinet will also receive reports on the outcomes of any inspection by Department of Education, Ofsted or Care Quality Commission, and the chair of the improvement board will also send annual reports to the council cabinet.

Finally, the Audit Committee will receive reports on the actions and learning arising from any future SEND services. 

This meeting would be held days after the improvement board receives its full autonomy. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Kathryn Boulton was appointed as the independent chair of the improvement boardKathryn Boulton was appointed as the independent chair of the improvement board (Image: Suffolk County Council)

The board has been operating in the background since March 2024 and moves into its full form on June 7 with Kathryn Boulton, taking up the Independent Chair position.

It was made in response to an Ofsted report into Suffolk's SEND services, published in January, which criticised "widespread and/or systemic failings" in the local area partnership, leading to many council cabinet members resigning.

The SEND Improvement Board will oversee the delivery of the Priority Action Plan to tackle weaknesses identified by Ofsted and will monitor the progress of changes.

In a pre-meeting report, the county's council's audit committee said: "The new governance arrangements will focus on the progress and impact on the experiences and outcomes of children and young people with SEND and their parents, carers and families to drive the pace of change and ensure the partnership’s activities are effective in securing the improvements required."