News, updates and feedback (SEND Local Offer)
Find the latest updates about services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
If you want to sign up to receive updates about SEND services and invites to future events please email firstname.lastname@example.org
All Age Disability Service
A programme of work has started to progress on the All Age Disability Offer here at Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Children First (WCF).
The vision of the County Council and WCF is for Worcestershire to be a wonderful place for all children and young people to grow up and on supporting children and families, and promoting health and well-being.
The new offer for those aged 0 to 25 is being jointly led by the County Council and WCF, and we are working closely with other partners including colleagues in health.
Our number one priority is for children and adults to get the very best outcomes in life, this includes those who are facing the additional challenges of having a disability.
WCC and WCF wants to offer longer term life and independence planning for children and young people as they transition into adulthood.
The All Age Disability Service will improve both the experiences of support and co-ordination, along with improved outcomes through a joined up ‘offer’ for children and young people with disabilities and special educational needs.
The All Age Disability Programme Board have now agreed the aims and outcomes of the new joined up service.
We just wanted to keep you up to date with what was agreed at the latest board meeting.
The Terms of Reference for the programme were agreed upon, as were the workstreams that will help deliver the project.
The first areas being looked at are:
Children’s community based short breaks re-commission, the processes for planning, agreeing and review provision joining up with Adults Day care and alternative care review.
- year 9 onwards annual review of EHCP, including the development of a preparation for adulthood toolkit.
- joint commissioning
- review out of county/independent placements and improving the processes for these types of placements – encouraging a better local service
- scoping improving access to information for Preparation for Adulthood & Independence
Further updates will be issued here in due course.
The SEND Improvement Parent carer survey has now closed
The annual parent carer survey is co-produced by Families in Partnership and Worcestershire Children First and forms part of Worcestershire’s improvement journey.
The survey aims to gather the views of parent carers to help shape services for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Thank you to those people who took the time to take part, the 2021 survey is now closed.
A ‘You said, We did’ report will be produced as a result of this survey and published on these pages.
The response to the 2020 survey can be found here: Parent carer survey - You said, We did report 2020
The 2022 parent carer survey will be launched in March 2022.
Worcestershire Ofsted SEND re-inspection
In 2018 Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Worcestershire to inspect our special educational needs and disability provision. This inspection found significant areas of weakness and a Written Statement of Action was deemed necessary for improvements to be made.
We were due to be reinspected in March 2020, but this was deferred due to Covid-19.
We are anticipating that Ofsted and the CQC will revisit Worcestershire around the end of April to reinspect our special educational needs and disability provision.
We have been working hard as a partnership to address the key concerns from the inspection back in March 2018 and are looking forward to being able to show the progress we have made and how experiences for children and young people with SEND have changed in Worcestershire.
Children and Young People Short Breaks Survey
Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Children are currently reviewing Adult Services Day Care and Alternative Care Services and starting to look at the recommissioning of Children’s Services Community Short Breaks Offer.
To help get this right we want to start by better understanding how our young people spend their social time, the services they are using and how they find them. We also would like to know what activities and places they would like to be going to, both now and as an adult. The findings from the survey will help us to shape and explore our next steps.
We very much want to hear from children and young people and appreciate the support from parents and carers, where required, to help them to complete the survey. The survey should only take 15 minutes to complete and closes on Monday 3 May.
Voice of Children and Young People
To help Worcestershire Children First shape future aspirations and priorities we would like to hear the voice and views of our children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability.
An activity pack has been developed to help parents and carers, schools and health professionals work with children and young people to discuss their experiences and views on how we can make Worcestershire a better place to learn, work and live if you have a special educational need and/or disability.
Closing date for submissions: 30 April 2021
Review of the Medical Education Service
Worcestershire Children First has completed a review of the Medical Education Service and are proposing a multiagency approach to meeting the needs of children with medical difficulties who are unable to attend school. Details of the approach and proposed changes are available at The Medical Education review and proposed new approach
FREE Solihull Approach Online parenting
‘Understanding your child with additional needs’ is one of the Solihull Approach online parenting courses. These are a series of NICE approved (opens in a new window) resources for parents and carers who want to learn more about sensitive and effective parenting and building a positive relationship with their child.
‘Understanding your child with additional needs’ is for anyone who cares for a child with a physical or learning disability or who may have autistic traits.
For more information about other training opportunities for parents and carers visit the Training for parents and carers on the Local Offer: Training for parents and carers (SEND Local Offer)
Mainstream Autism Bases (MAB) Survey
At the first stage, we have collected the views of the children, young people, families and staff who attend or have previously attended a MAB Provision. The results of the survey will be shared shortly.
SEND Improvement Parent Carer Survey - You Said, We Did Report 2020
In 2020 Worcestershire Children First and Families in Partnership (FiP), Worcestershire’s parent carer forum sent out a joint parent carer survey to obtain the views of parent carers about services in the area for their children and young people with Special Educational needs/disability (SEND). The survey went out prior to the Covid-19 pandemic impacting families in the UK.
This annual survey forms part of our improvement journey, we want to know what was working well and not working so well with our SEND Services and what parent and carers think needs to change.
The results from this survey have been analysed and shared with all the relevant parties for comment and action.
We have worked together to produce a ‘You said, We did’ report where we outline what we have done so far and what we intend to do as a result of the feedback.
Medical Education Team
Share your thoughts and ideas on the Medical Education Service.
Worcestershire County Council has committed to a review and redesign of the Medical Education Service.
The survey closed on 18 September 2020. Further information will be published shortly.
SEN online resources
We are regularly updating our online education resources to help children with special educational needs (SEN) during the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
See our dedicated web page from more information and guidance on SEND.
SENDIASS launch new website
The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Special Educational Needs Disabilities (SEND) Information Advice and Support services (SENDIASS) have merged to launch their new website and social media platforms.
SENDIASS provides free, impartial information, advice and support on all matters relating to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
The new look website www.hwsendiass.co.uk has been coproduced with parents and young people to ensure that it has relevant information that is easily accessible. You can find factsheets, newsletters and other resources, that are easily downloadable, to help you navigate your SEND journey.
Follow us, Herefordshire and Worcestershire SSENDIASS @hwsendiass on Facebook and Twitter for relevant national and local information and events across the two counties.
Contact us – updated guidance
The SEND Team at Worcestershire Children First are asking for all communications to them to be made via email or telephone and to refrain from using post. This is to ensure that all communications are picked up and actioned as quickly as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can contact them via email at: email@example.com or by telephone on: 01905 846000.
The SEND Team thanks you for your co-operation.
Help shape services for children with special education needs
Views are being sought from parent carers to help shape services for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
A survey has been co-produced by Families in Partnership and involving Worcestershire Children First and Worcestershire County Council to find out what parent carers of children with SEND in Worcestershire think about the services available to them.
The 2020 survey is now closed. A ‘You said, We did’ report has been produced as a result of this survey. This report can be found here: Parent carer survey - You said, We did report 2020
The 2021 parent carer survey will be launched in March 2021.
Worcestershire Children First to lead review of Medical Education Team service
Proposals to review the service provided by the Medical Education Team (MET) were approved at Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet meeting on 30 January.
The MET provides a service for children who are unable to attend school because of medical difficulties.
The review will consider the service and how it can be improved and will look at ways to offer a high quality of service alongside resource and cost implications. Read the full MET review news article
County partnership receives quality mark accreditation for SEN work
The Worcestershire Area Partnership has been awarded a top accreditation for their work helping young people with special educational needs.
West Mercia Youth Justice Service and Worcestershire Children First have been awarded an Achievement For All Quality Mark Award for partnerships securing better outcomes for children and young people with special education needs in the youth justice system.
Fundraising success at Moule Close January 2020
A sunken sandpit, nature area and music zone are just some of the wonderful new activities children at a short break unit in Kidderminster can now enjoy thanks to the fundraising efforts of parents whose children use the centre.
The event raised a total of £5,000, including a really generous donation of £3,000 from Elliott Nash Construction, Bromsgrove. The sensory garden will make a huge difference to the lives of children who use the centre, who have complex and special needs.
Pictured are Dee Pryce and Jude Turbutt proudly stand with the presentation cheque.
A guide to support children with special educational needs and disability
Worcestershire schools and early year providers have a revised guide, setting out how they can best support young people and children with special educational needs and disability.
It’s been put together through a collaboration with professionals, parent/carers and young people. The new revised guide is designed to help schools and early years providers across Worcestershire tailor their support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Find out more about the guide to support children with special educational needs and disability.
County Council supported National Co-Production Week - July 2019
From July 1 to 5, we promoted and supported National Co-production Week.
Co-production Week celebrates the benefits of working with people, families and carers who use our services to design and develop better public services.
Staff from the Council's SEND services, as well as colleagues from the Worcestershire CCGs and Families in Partnership (FIP), all joined the stall in the County Hall reception.
As part of the week they asked staff and visitors to make a pledge about how they can use co-production in their work. They challenged people to say where they sit on the Participation Ladder to highlight the different levels of participation.
During the week, Worcestershire County Council's Chief Executive Paul Robinson was one of the supporters who stopped by and made his own pledge.
Watch this video to find out more about how co-production benefits:
One year into the improvement plan for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities - July 2019
In August last year, Worcestershire County Council and partners launched a Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Improvement Plan that was developed with parents, carers, education providers and health colleagues.
It followed the Local Area SEND inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission in March 2018 which looked at how effectively provision in Worcestershire improves outcomes for children with SEND. Read the full improvement plan news article.
Consultation on the draft Graduated Response within Worcestershire - June 2019
We recently asked SEND professionals, parent / carers and young people to provide feedback on the draft new Graduated Response guidance document. The consultation closed on 1 March 2019. Since then the Local Area has been working to respond to the consultation feedback and further improve the guidance. For more information see the Graduated Response (SEND support in education provision) page.
Special Provision Capital Fund - May 2019
Local Authorities must ensure there are sufficient good school places for all pupils, including those with SEN and disabilities. The Government has now committed a total allocation of £1,843,105 (LA’s original allocation - £1,085,665, plus top ups announced in May 2018 - £252,480 and December 2018 - £504,960) of capital funding between 2018 to 2021 to help Worcestershire create new school places and improve existing facilities for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, in consultation with parents and providers. The capital is not ring-fenced and local authorities can use it to improve special provision for education, health and care (EHC) plans. The funding can be invested in mainstream schools and academies, special units, special schools and academies, early years settings, further education colleges or to make other provision for children and young people aged from 0 to 25. Further information can be found on the DfE website (link opens in a new window).
The DfE require Worcestershire County Council to update and re-publish their short plan template on how the capital will be allocated to access their share of the additional funding. The plan should set out as much as they know at that point about how they intend to use their share / the options under consideration, and any further consultation they have done or intend to do.
Download: Special Provision Capital Fund Plan
Download: Special Provision Capital Spreadsheet
For further information in relation to increases in pupil numbers at special schools, please refer to Education Reviews and Consultations.
NHS Long Term Plan - January 2019
The NHS has written a plan so it can be fit for the future. It's based on the experiences of patients and staff and sets out what will happen over the next 10 years. As well as lots of other things, the NHS would like to make sure everyone has the best start in life by increasing funding for children and young people’s mental health, bringing down waiting times for autism assessments and providing the right care for children with a learning disability. Find out more about the NHS Long Term Plan (link opens in a new window).