Brighter Futures for Children fully recognises the national pressure on funding for SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).

Since we took over the delivery of the SEND service from Reading Borough Council in December 2018, we have been working hard to ensure the resources we have are focused correctly on the needs of children and their families.

Through the delivery of the SEND Strategy, we have reviewed what we have in place to ensure resources are targeted appropriately. We continue to work with partners, including Reading Family Forum, to analyse information on children and family needs and use that to inform priorities.

We have seen a shift in the level and types of SEND needs of children in Reading and continue to develop different ways of improving services and support for children.

We have also co-developed tools for schools and settings to help them identify children’s needs early and we have put in place evidence-based support for children with SEND needs. This is intended to help schools focus their resources on support that has the greatest impact.

We continue to work with the Schools’ Forum to ensure that the SEND element of education-related funding is targeted in the right areas. We are also working hard to attract additional funding, alongside Reading Borough Council, and we have been successful in our bid for a new special Free School and the SEND Independent Advice and Support service.

We are also delighted that The Base autism centre will be opening shortly at Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School, Reading.

We have recently become a national Trailblazer for the work we are doing to support children’s mental and emotional health in school settings. This was jointly commissioned with the CCG and West Berkshire, and has come about due to the work our Educational Psychologists and Primary Mental Health Workers have been doing.