Services for children with special educational needs are to get a £3million boost in Hertfordshire.
The funds will be used to develop local teams, to maximise digital technology and to improve access to independent living, employment and training.
Children will be able to access social, leisure and community services, independently from their primary carer.
There will be a review of high needs education. Post-16 education opportunities for young people with special needs are to be explored within the county – as are ‘student’ type shared accommodation to enable independent living.
And, when it comes to independent living, technology – like Alexa – will be trialled to provide important reminders and help with routine.
Over the next five years the number of children in the county with special needs is expected to increase by 36 per cent – the equivalent of 2,198 more children.
Cllr Teresa Heritage, executive member for children, young people and families at Herts County Council, told fellow cabinet members that investment would ensure services for children with special needs were efficient.
And a report for the meeting said the plans have “enablement” at their heart. In the longer-term the council expects it will deliver a better service, while delivering £1.74million in savings and cost avoidance of £3.23m.
At the meeting council leader Cllr David Williams said: “This is an important and significant investment in these services.
“Part of this is about transformation, but also about how parents and families access this important service – and, as a consequence, how transformation can contribute to cost avoidance and savings.”