HEALTH and education chiefs working against the clock to address Cumbria-wide failings in services for special needs children are on track to meet their first deadline.

A joint report by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission found that Government reforms launched five years ago had been 'too slow' to be introduced in the county.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) partnership has until August 21 to produce a statement of action, setting out how they propose to respond to the weaknesses identified.

The inspection team completed their assessment in March and the Monday after they had left, work on the response was already underway.

Speaking at a meeting of Cumbria’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Cllr Anne Burns, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “It is going to be very difficult to try to move it forward.

“It is going to be hard to try and get them onside because there is a mind-set there ‘You lot don’t care.’”