SOUTHAMPTON is to be recognised for its ground-breaking work in improving outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families.

Southampton City Council and NHS Southampton City PCT were awarded ‘pathfinder’ status by the Government in 2011, placing the city among the first in the country to start delivering reforms aimed at improving services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from birth through to age 25.

The SEND Pathfinder team will be holding a stakeholder event on Tuesday, July 2, from 1pm, at the Eastpoint Centre to celebrate the achievements of the city’s highly-regarded programme ahead of the national roll-out of new legislation next year.

Representatives from the Department for Education and the Council for Disabled Children will be delivering presentations at the event.

Southampton City Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Sarah Bogle, will also be attending alongside other councillors and senior managers, colleagues from the health service and the voluntary sector as well as parents and service users.

Recognition of Southampton’s work has included being asked to take on a regional and national ‘champion’ role to support other local authorities as they prepare for the implementation of the new legislation.

Cllr Bogle said: “Southampton is leading the way nationally on innovative approaches to supporting young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

“We need to treat every child as an individual and make sure our services meet their needs and those of their families.”