Agenda item - Overview of autism support in the City and proposals for future provision

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Agenda item

Overview of autism support in the City and proposals for future provision

Report of the Executive Director of Families, Children and Learning.

Decision:

RESOLVED – that the Committee agreed:

 

1)    To note the support for Autism work underway in the city to provide a commitment to the future planned work and to note that Autism would have a high profile within the refreshed SEND strategy in the next year

2)    That the Committee authorised officers to progress the partnership with the National Autistic Society and Cullum Family Trust to create Cullum Centres at Dorothy Stringer and Hove Park School.

Minutes:

39.1    The Committee Considered a report of the Executive Director of Families, Children & Learning. The report was introduced by Georgina Clarke-Greene, Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities and provided an update on the increase in children and young people with ASC identified as their primary and secondary need. The committee was also informed of the recent developments in city-wide partnership work on Autism support for children and young people and their families and provided with a brief overview of future planned work including looking ahead to a refreshed Special Educational Needs and Disability strategy.

 

39.2    Councillor Brown enquired what was required to receive an Autism Awareness award. She further noted concerns regarding available spaces at the Dorothy Stringer Site.

 

39.3    Claire Bradley, Assistant Principle Educational Psychologist,outlined the course curriculum and stated that adjustments had been made to meet the needs of schools. She further stated that the SEN team had to look at how many children were coming through with different needs, it was noted that demand would increase.

 

39.4    The Chair asked that this be brought to Children, Young People & Skills Committee in future as well as the Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

39.5    Ms Mortensen requested a brief overview on the progress of children with autism and enquired if the Callum Centres would affect people receiving a placement.

 

39.6    The Assistant Principle Educational Psychologist stated that there was a briefing for governors in February and noted that this was well received in schools. It was stated that this was an effort to encourage schools to work together to address the issue of inconsistence drawn from research by the University of Sussex.

 

39.7    The Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities stated that a low number of schools had signed up for the Autism Awareness Awards. She further stated that efforts were being made to be able to provide local provisional care and keeping this locally.

 

39.8    Councillor Phillips referred to 7.3 and requested information regarding the PFI provider and what this meant in practice. She further enquired as to the how the challenge regarding Dorothy Stringer would be overcome.

 

39.9    The Assistant Executive Director of Families, Children & Learning stated that the process involved with building on a site was complex.

 

39.10  The Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities stated that investment was necessary in order to make savings, it was noted that savings would be invested in local provision.

 

39.11  Councillor O’Quinn requested clarification of any sites considered as well as Hove Park. Further clarification was requested in regards to the number of children that would be attending the programmes provided.

 

39.12  The Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities confirmed that the facility at Hove Park would have capacity for 20 people.

 

39.13  Councillor Allen enquired of the possibility of providing a Callum Centre at both Hove Park and Dorothy Stringer if Dorothy Stringer were in a position to move forward sooner.

 

39.14  The Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities stated that it was always the intention to have to sites at Hove Park. It was noted that the prospect of having a site at Dorothy Stringer was positive but not possible yet as it was not prepared.

 

39.15  Councillor Wealls referenced a letter from Dr Baker to the Executive Director of Families, Children & Learning, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Trust. It was noted that the contents of the letter was critical as it contained details regarding particular systems failures in assessments. It was noted that a timely response had not been received and that it was not acceptable that a Councillor should have to negotiate for a response. It was stated that this report did not address any concerns brought from the Children with Autism Scrutiny and further stated that this should have received a formal response at this committee due to such a late response. It was further noted that very little feedback was received and the Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) ran the risk of being reliant on MASCOT for research.

 

39.16  The Chair clarified that there was a large amount of work had to be completed in order to respond to the letter. It was stated that there was a meeting to discuss this on the 27th November 2018 with evaluations to for a response due to be brought to Children, Young People & Skills Committee in February 2019.

 

39.17  The Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities confirmed that a meeting with the Doctor, MASCOT, AMAZE and others had taken place and that a second meeting was scheduled. It was emphasised that a strategic approach was being followed.

 

39.18  Mr Glazebrook confirmed that AMAZE had been awarded funding to help young people. It was stated that it was good to establish a baseline figure for children up to 20. It was enquired if anyone under 25 had been placed.

 

39.19  The Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities stated that this would be followed up on.

 

 

39.20  Ms Mortensen gave an example of system failure by way of a recent issue in which a family’s son diagnosed with autism had been placed in a unit 300 miles away.

 

30.21  The Assistant Principal Educational Psychologist stated that efforts to work with partners on this were currently ongoing, it was noted that systems were evidence based and that health were looking to increase diagnoses in future.

 

30.22  Councillor Penn enquired as to what Councillors would be looking at next year following elections and how they would be able to question officers. Clarification was sought regarding what benchmarking data would be available.

 

30.23  The Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities stated that the SEND strategy was co-produced with stakeholders and was expected to report on the outcome measures through the SEND partnership board. It was noted that children interventions would also be looked at.

 

30.24  Ms James noted an issue regarding late diagnoses and enquired if there was another option available to Dorothy Stringer.

 

30.25  The Assistant Principal Educational Psychologist stated that issues surrounding diagnoses were linked to new developmental pathways being implemented to look at developmental service across all ages.

 

30.26  The Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities stated that a second site was challenging.

 

30.27  Councillor Taylor noted that PFI was a large impact on the tax payer and requested clarification of the process surrounding Dorothy Stringer’s involvement and why not a school with greater resources capable of managing this. Confirmation was requested regarding effective modelling being implemented to mitigate any potential long term extra financial commitments.

 

30.28  The Assistant Director Families, Children and Learning stated that this was an issue of timing and that of the schools that responded, Dorothy Stringer was very positive and keen.

           

30.29  The Assistant Director Health SEN & Disabilities stated that some modelling had taken place in terms of ASE need and of the number of children currently at agency placements.

 

30.30  RESOLVED – that the Committee agreed:

 

1)    To note the support for Autism work underway in the city to provide a commitment to the future planned work and to note that Autism would have a high profile within the refreshed SEND strategy in the next year

2)      That the Committee authorised officers to progress the partnership with the National Autistic Society and Cullum Family Trust to create Cullum Centres at Dorothy Stringer and Hove Park School.

Supporting documents:

 


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