It was a pleasure to meet with Surrey County Council Cabinet Member Cllr Denise Turner-Stewart and council officers to discuss my response to the Surrey SEND transport consultation and the level of service and support for children with additional needs and their families.
It is important that safety and access to education are the core priorities of SEND transport policy, and I am pleased that some changes to proposals have been made following the consultation. I particularly welcome that longer journeys for children with SEND will only be permitted at the request of parents, where they feel it is beneficial to their child.
I still have some concerns over proposals for children ages 5 and under, and will seek to engage with early years providers, especially Chertsey Nursery School, our local maintained nursery, to discuss how these changes will affect them.
SEND issues remain a key issue raised with me by many constituents and by our local schools. I am delighted that Cllr Turner-Stewart has agreed to meet with me and local school leaders. I have also had discussions with Graham Wareham, CEO of Surrey and Borders NHS Trust, regarding the CAMHS and community support available to schools and families and am pleased that he has also agreed to attend this meeting. I hope that by bringing organisations together we can ensure clearer communication and co-operation, leading to improved support and service delivery for schools and local families.