Worcestershire is continuing to make progress to improve outcomes for children with special educational needs and disability (SEND).
This is the view of the Department for Education following their last monitoring visit which was discussed by Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet today (Thursday 14 November) along with progress on the Written Statement of Action.
The Written Statement of Action is an action plan, prepared together with health colleagues, parents and carers, head teachers and other key stakeholders, which details how the local area will tackle the significant areas of weakness identified in the SEND inspection report that was published in May 2018.
Since June 2018 advisers from Department for Education and NHS England have held five joint monitoring visits to assess the progress on delivering the Written Statement of Action.
The most recent monitoring visit was in October 2019 where the Department for Education reported the Local Area is making good progress and with the launch of Worcestershire Children First on 1 October there is a strong sense of drive and optimism.
The Local Offer website, which provide information and advice on education, health and social care, continues to be improved in terms of content with the number of visitors on a monthly basis continuing to rise. A Children with Disabilities register is also now available and enables parents and carers to register details about their children to help us to understand more about what support is needed and where.
The Department for Education concluded that there are still challenges ahead but was confident that with further integration of services, partnership working and commitment to improving the experience for children and families further benefits will be achieved.
Sarah Wilkins, Director of Education and Early Help for Worcestershire Children First, said: “We remain committed to working together with young people, parents, carers, partners and education providers to continue to improve the experiences for all children and young people with SEND.
Mari Gay, Managing Director, Worcestershire CCGs said: “The CCG will continue to work in partnership with the council and other stakeholders to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND, focussing on empowering clinicians to use the information now available and coproducing improvements with families and carers”.
Sally Keane, Chair of Families in Partnership, the Worcestershire Parent Carer Forum, said: “We are encouraged by the work the local authority and partners have undertaken to address the issues raised in the Written Statement of Action. However, we are aware some families are still not feeling the impact of these changes to date. There is still considerable work to be done to ensure the child’s needs is at the centre of all decision making. Families in Partnership will continue to work in co-production with the local authority and partners to ensure parent carer voices are an integral part of the improvements required going forward.
For information and advice for children and young adults with disabilities and learning needs or to sign up to the Children with Disabilities register visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/send.