Sutton Council plans to recommend the recommission of their education service provider Cognus despite concerns surrounding it's SEND services.

Cognus Ltd, is the largely council-owned company in charge of 27 services in Sutton, including SEND school support.

It's contract which expires in November 2021, will be recommended to be recommissioned for three years at the People Committee meeting tomorrow ( October 15).

Sutton Council says the recommendation is made based on the "quality of service provided already by Cognus", which is set to move into Sutton Council ownership.

The change will see all 27 of Cognus services move, including educational psychology, occupational therapy, school admissions and speech and language therapy.

MORE: Cognus set to move into ownership of Sutton Council

Your Local Guardian:

Proposed changes will see Cognus focus on service delivery, while the council supports the management of the company and provides strategic oversight through the appointment of three Council officers to the Cognus Board.

However, Cognus has been under large scrutiny with parents, MPs and councillors who have branded Sutton's Education, Health and Care Plan as 'incompetent'.

Despite the new arrangements, parent campaign group Sutton EHCP says the changes in structure "means nothing if an unlawful policy continues to be followed."

On September 9, MP Elliot Colburn addressed the 'failings' of special education needs provision by Sutton Council at Prime Ministers Questions.

MORE: MPs fight for change after council 'exposed' on BBC Panorama

On September 23, Boris Johnson responded to concerns in a letter to Elliot Colburn.

"I am informed that, although an Ofsted inspection of Sutton Local Authority earlier this year found progress has been made in remedying problems identified during a 2018 inspection, Ofsted noted that many parents still seemed unhappy with the provision and Sutton Local Authority recognised there was more work to do.

"The Department for Education will continue to monitor Sutton Local Authority to ensure it continues to deliver improvements in the delivery of these services."

Your Local Guardian:

Hayley Harding of Sutton EHCP said: “As our Prime Minister has now recognised, there are many problems with the current practices taking place at Cognus Ltd which are causing many families with SEND children here unnecessary levels of stress.

"Without identifying and resolving these issues first it is inappropriate to be renewing the company that is responsible for this for a further three years without consulting the very people that this affects.

"Changes in structure mean nothing if an unlawful policy continues to be used to reject vulnerable children for the help that they need.

"The fact that this company is still profit driven and hasn't been changed to a non for profit is a great concern."