Sutton’s SEND services have received positive feedback from Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Vicky Ford. 

The recognised improvement follows years of concerns over Sutton's educational needs and disability services - which have been previously highlighted by both parents and Ofsted. 

In January 2018, an Ofsted inspection determined that a Written Statement of Action was required because of "significant areas of weakness in the area's practice."

MORE: Sutton special educational needs concerns raised in Parliament

In May 2020, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) confirmed SEND services in Sutton had made “sufficient progress” and no longer required a Written Statement of Action.

MORE: Council says review into Sutton SEND services has found "good progress"

However, parent campaign group, The Sutton EHCP Crisis, believe the council are still not “providing children and young people the services to which they should be entitled to.”

This Is Local London: Sutton EHCP Crisis GroupSutton EHCP Crisis Group

The campaign group are currently crowdfunding to help fund legal representation to challenge Sutton authorities over their SEND services.

MORE: Parents launch fundraiser to fight Sutton with Judicial Review

In a letter written to Sutton Council, Under-secretary, Vicky Ford said: “I was particularly encouraged by the joint working now taking place in Sutton across education, health and care. 

"And by the impact, this is having on children’s confidence; the quality of Education, Health and Care plans and feedback from parents.

This Is Local London: Vicky FordVicky Ford

“I know that this positive revisit report comes as the result of a great deal of commitment and hard work on the part of the local authority, the Clinical Commissioning Group, families and front line staff across education, health and social care.

I would like to thank you for all that you are doing to support some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society.”

At the time of the report, Councillor Marian James, Chair of the People Committee commented: 

“It is good to see services in Sutton for pupils with specific needs showing such strong improvement.

“The inspectors’ report is positive and noted the ‘seismic shift’ that has taken place. 

But we are not complacent- we are already focusing on the areas where we want to improve further.

“We’d like to thank all our partners, schools, parents and carers and young people for their input and ongoing support throughout this process.

"We will continue to work with parents and parents groups, particularly Sutton Parents Forum to ensure we build on these foundations.”