Accurate and useable data on children and young people with SEND is absolutely crucial for many reasons. Data provides information on where disabled children are, their needs and what services they are accessing. It can also show where improvements are needed or which children are not accessing the support they and their families need. Data also allows health, education and social care teams to plan ahead more effectively and to respond to important population trends.  

We have long been passionate about the need to improve data on disabled children. In 2017/18, True Colours appointed Anne Pinney as the True Colours Data Champion. Anne has worked tirelessly to improve the collection and use of data on disabled children and to make it easier for local areas to ‘put the data jigsaw together’ by joining up data from health, education and social care.

In March 2022, the SEND Review published by the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care acknowledged that “data collection in the current system is inconsistent: we do not always collect the right information, at the right time, in a way that enables local systems and leadership to respond to local needs before it is too late. We have seen the benefits that can be achieved through effective data sharing in allowing families to access prompt support.”

Anne continues to work with university colleagues, officials in Government and children’s charities to identify opportunities to improve data on disabled children and to make it easier for local areas to link their data safely and effectively. Her work behind the scenes has led to several academic projects (on-going) and policy discussions which we are confident, in the long term, will result in real change for disabled children and their families.

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