Recent improvements to services for children and young people in Worcestershire who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) must be built upon...
Recent improvements to services for children and young people in Worcestershire who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) must be built upon, that's according to inspectors from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission.
A joint inspection to judge how effectively the County Council and the NHS Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups have implemented the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014 was conducted in March.
Inspectors looked at the local information that is provided across the county on services to support children and young people and their parents and carers. It looked at joint commissioning between health services and the Council and the graduated response which is the way schools support children in mainstream education. Inspectors also looked at assessments and planning for children and young people with special educational needs and disability.
A SEND strategy for Worcestershire has recently been implemented and a Peer Review was commissioned by the County Council last year. But despite the concerted drive shown by leaders in the two organisations being described as a 'breath of fresh air' by inspectors, they found that children and young people in the county who have SEN and/or disabilities are not provided with the quality of support and service to which they are entitled.
Worcestershire County Councillor Marcus Hart, the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said:
"Children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities deserve to be supported and encouraged to reach their full potential including, where possible, living independent lives. They also deserve to receive help and support from good quality services. We are disappointed by the findings but we accept them and we are determined to improve the local area offer for children and their parents and carers. Working with our health partners and schools we have made huge strides forward in recent months but there is much more still to do."
Simon Trickett, Accountable Officer, Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups added:
“We accept the findings of the report and agree the critical importance of working with others to provide the joined-up services that children and young people deserve. We acknowledge that more needs to be done and remain committed to working with our partners to ensure that the special health needs of children and young people are more adequately met in the future.
Partners are now required to produce and submit an action plan to Ofsted