A call for evidence has been launched today for a new review by CDC's Director, Dame Christine Lenehan, into the quality of care of residential special schools due to be published later this year.
We can today confirm that Dame Christine has been asked by Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families, to lead an independent review into the experiences and outcomes of children and young people in residential special schools and colleges. The review will complement Sir Martin Narey’s report reviewing children’s residential care in England published last year. Sir Martin’s report 'Residential Care in England' talks about how to secure best value for money in commissioning residential care and looks at the differences between local authority, private and voluntary sector run homes. The report also looks at residential care as a route to fostering and the lack of market management in the way provision meets need.
CDC were disappointed to note that the report did not include further review or analysis of children in long-term residential care particularly in light of the comments made by NHS England CAMHS Learning Disability Project. Sir Martin recommended that residential special schools should be looked at separately so Dame Christine's review will include consideration of how residential specialist provision supports children and young people with complex needs. It will recommend the practical action that government departments and other agencies can take to support positive experiences and outcomes for these children and young people.
The review will explore:
- the characteristics of the children and young people currently in residential special schools and colleges
- how and why these children and young people come to be placed in residential special schools and colleges
- the pattern of provision across the country and how it is commissioned and procured
- what good quality support looks like for these children and young people, both pre- and post-placement (including the role of early intervention, family support and community services)
- the experiences and outcomes of these children and young people and their families, and how these can be improved
- how schools and colleges are supported to meet the needs of these children and young people by all agencies
- how effectively the workforce in residential special schools and colleges meets the needs of these children and young people
- destinations for these children and young people
To ensure that this review is informed by as wide a range of views and evidence as possible, a call for evidence is being launched today looking at the areas set out above. This is open to people working in residential special schools and colleges; children and young people attending residential special schools and colleges and their parents or carers; and children, young people and adults who have left residential special schools and colleges. Also invited to submit evidence are local authorities, representative bodies from across the sector and academics with an interest in this area.
For more information please visit https://consult.education.gov.uk/special-educational-needs-and-disability-division/lenehan-review/ You can submit your responses to Lenehan.Review@education.gov.uk along with any other enquiries about this call for evidence. The deadline for submission is 17 March 2017.