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A message from Matt Dunkley CBE:

24 May 2018 weekly update

24 May 2018

This week, Matt gives an important update on the Education Psychology Service and The Education People; and introduces this year's updated and refreshed CYPE Vision and Priorities for Improvement document.

Dear Colleagues

Education Psychology Service and The Education People

As part of the preparation for the launch of The Education People in September we have been reviewing the position of the Education Psychology Service.

Since the decision was taken more than a year ago to include the service within the scope of the new company the level of demand upon the service has significantly increased. Over this last year we have seen an 81% increase in the number of requests for statutory assessments and this demand does not appear to be decreasing. To meet this growing demand the service has also faced challenges in relation to staff recruitment and retention. The pressure on SEN services and the difficulties recruiting education psychologists appears to be a national trend.

To meet our statutory responsibilities to complete SEN assessments we have already had to take the very regrettable decision to withdraw EP support from the LIFT process and to suspend trading with schools until September.

As the delivery of SEN services is KCC’s direct responsibility to manage and the Education Psychology Service plays such a key part in their delivery, we have decided that the service will not become part of The Education People company when it launches in September. Having sought to carefully assess the financial and service delivery risks of this provision being delivered by The Education People on KCC’s behalf, it is our clear view that to proceed with Education Psychology inside the scope of the contract at this time would not be in the interests of children and young people and that to do so could place too great a risk and burden on the Company and its ability to meet its other responsibilities.

Consequently the Education Psychology Service will remain within the Education, Planning and Access Division of the Children, Young People and Education Directorate of KCC. All staff within the service will remain directly employed by KCC and the Directorate will continue its efforts to manage and respond to the challenges arising from the growth in the level of SEN statutory assessment. The Education Psychology Service will no longer be subject to TUPE transfer on 1 September.

There is no intention to review other services that are within the company. KCC remains fully committed to The Education People and the company will launch in September to deliver a range of other services to schools and early years settings.

Vision and Priorities for Improvement 2018-2021

As you know we update our strategic plan every year and the latest version of Vision and Priorities 2018-2021 is now available online (PDF, 2.7 MB). It sets out what we have achieved to date and the priorities going forward in improving Education and Children Services in Kent.

We want the best for all children in Kent. Our driving ambition is to deliver the best outcomes we can for all children, young people and their families.

I hope you find that the Vision and Priorities document reflects our shared values and goals for children and young people as we continue to work to make Kent a county that works for all children.

I hope you and your staff have a relaxing half term break.

Matt Dunkley CBE
Corporate Director
Children, Young People and Education