ESSEX County Council is to submit an action plan to address “significant weaknesses” in special educational needs and disability services, after a report found “inconsistency” across the county.

The area will be reinspected in 18 months, by when it is expected that “significant progress” will have been made identifying the needs of children and young people with moderate learning difficulties.

Key areas where the service was not consistent were around speech and language, occupational physical therapy and autism diagnosis.

Some children are waiting up to two years for autism assessments.

County Hall education director Clare Kershaw said:“The expectation is we will have made signifiant progress in addressing the areas of significant weakness but more importantly what difference will it have made to children and families in Essex.”