Archive for June, 2014

Special Education Needs in Staffordshire

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

I’m delighted that our plans to reform current support for children and young people with special educational needs is gaining real pace.

There are many organisations across the county that provide some level of support, but we’re not working together in the best ways. It makes for a complicated system of care and assessment that’s difficult for parents to navigate and have their say about what they need.

This isn’t the situation just in Staffordshire, but it’s the case right across the country. Here though, we’re making real headway because we’ve put partnership working at the top of the agenda.

Together with parents and young people, and our colleagues in health, education and social care, a new single pathway to assessment and support has been developed. It’s simpler, quicker and makes sure that parents and children will be put at the heart of making decisions about the support they need.  I look forward to seeing this put into practice fully in September.

September will also bring other big changes. We’ll see much better support closer to home and that support will be available for longer, if it’s needed.

These are exciting times, and I’m proud that once again the county council has led and inspired our colleagues to come together to find innovative solutions that ultimately mean better results for residents.

It’s well worth finding out more about the reforms if you’re a parent or a child with a statement of special educational needs . Have a look on

The Queen’s Speech

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Yesterday, it was the final Queen’s Speech before the next general election. Whilst people enjoy the pageantry and tradition, the Queen’s speech is particularly important for us because it sets out the Government’s agenda for the next twelve months.

The Queen’s Speech contained a range of bills which will directly affect our residents, and in turn us as an organisation.

One that caught my attention was that Parliament is to consider a bill on Infrastructure which could see planning guidance become planning law. This will affect our ability to determine applications as well as our districts to lead development. It will be crucial that we work with Government on this to reflect the views and opinions of people in Staffordshire.

If you didn’t catch the speech yesterday, there’s a good summary on the BBC . It’s worth a watch to see how it might impact your area of work and you personally.