Improving Suffolk's SEND service 'no easy task' says new boss

Andrew Reid stood in front of a bush
Andrew Reid has been a county councillor since 2011

The new councillor in charge special educational needs and disabilities services (SEND) in Suffolk says he needs to find out "where things are not working".

Andrew Reid has been appointed to the role following the resignation of three senior councillors.

A report on Suffolk's SEND provision said children got "lost in the system and [fell] through the cracks".

Mr Reid was previously responsible for public health and protection.

He said he wanted to find areas where staff were "swamped or overwhelmed".

Suffolk County Council's headquarters in Ipswich
£55m has been pledged to create 1,250 additional SEND school places

Suffolk County Council has struggled to meet increasing demand, with parents protesting in 2023 about a lack of school places for children with SEND.

The council said there were more than 21,000 SEND children and young people in Suffolk schools, an increase of 30% since 2019.

After the leadership changes, Mr Reid says he wants to see a "stable and settled culture within the service itself".

As part of a cabinet reshuffle at the Conservative-run Suffolk County Council, Bobby Bennett was put in charge of children and young people, Philip Faircloth-Mutton moved to the equality and communities department and Craig Rivett was chosen to lead public health and public protection.

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