A NATIONAL study has ranked Herefordshire as second best performing council in England for supporting children with high needs.

A study rating all the local authority areas by the independent consultancy IMPOWER looked at 39 national data sets to measure value within high needs funding and the outcomes for high needs children

Chris Baird, Director for Children and Families, said: “The council has worked to focus on this area and to improve the education, care and support available.

"Financially, Herefordshire is much more balanced than many other local areas, but there are still huge challenges in terms of finances for the public sector.

“We don’t always get it right for every child or young person and their families and carers, but we acknowledge this and we are striving to improve.

"Herefordshire can help more by including children and young people with high needs in opportunities that will give them a great start in life and help them feel part of the community as they move into adulthood."

Councillor Felicity Norman, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “The outcome is extremely reassuring for families with high needs children, especially at a time when the demand for education, health and care services and special school places continues to rise."