Support for children and young people with SEND and mental health problems is to get a huge boost in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire after the area was designated an Opportunity Area by the government.
It’s just been announced that the two districts will share £6m of extra funding to increase opportunities for “disadvantaged” children and young people. The plan aims to boost their communication, language and reading, raise aspirations and recruit, develop and retain the best leaders and teachers in the region’s schools.
One of the top priorities of the plan is to “strengthen the effectiveness of support for children and young people with mental health concerns and those with Special Educational Needs.”
Better support for SEND parents is also highlighted – with information sessions planned for parents with concerns about their child’s mental health/SEND. Special support centres, for parents whose children have ducation, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)s, are also in the pipeline.
The Opportunity Area delivery plan highlights:
- Almost 1,000 pupils in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire have an EHCP
- Almost 4,400 children in the region have emerging to moderate mental health needs
- And the additional needs of some of these children and young people are not being met
- An eight month waiting list for mental health service support, and confusion about where it is and how to access it
- The rate of mental health concerns for young people in the area is increasing in addition to a growing population.
Targets for 2021
• The wait for child and adolescent mental health services support will be 12 weeks, with clear referral routes for schools and colleges.
• At least four support centres will be established in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire for parents with children who have an EHCP. These
will provide access to educational resources and tailored support for their child.