Good intentions, good enough? – Residential special schools and support for children

January 3, 2018

‘Good intentions, good enough?’ 6 November 2017 – Residential special schools and colleges: support for children, Dame Christine Lenehan and Mark Geraghty.

This Government commissioned report by Dame Christine Lenehan and Mark Geraghty sets out:

  •  How children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are currently supported in residential special schools and colleges.
  • Recommendations to support children, young people and their families to improve their experiences and outcomes.

The report’s overall message is that:

While some of these findings were negative, we have seen enough examples of good practice to know that the vision set out in this report can be achieved. Our recommendations seek to embed and spread this good practice by:

  • Ensuring children and young people with SEND get the services and support they need in their local community (in mainstream or special provision).
  • Ensuring that local areas have planned and commissioned provision strategically, so that it is available when required.
  • Ensuring the accountability and school improvement systems enable children and young people to achieve the best possible outcomes.

To take forward these recommendations, and provide broader, strategic oversight of provision for these children and young people, we also recommend that the Department for Education creates a national leadership board for children and young people with high needs, reporting to the Minister for Children and Families. The Government’s response from the Secretary of State, Justine Greening, is striking; I am today announcing some actions we will take forward immediately. These are: