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 localoffer@worcschildrenfirst.org.uk

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.

Children and Young People Short Breaks Survey

Tell us what you think about services for children and young people with special educational needs

The views of Worcestershire parent carers are being sought to find out what they think about the services available for their children and young people with Special Educational needs/disability (SEND).

The SEND Improvement Parent Carer survey has been co-produced by Families in Partnership and Worcestershire Children First. This annual survey forms part of Worcestershire’s improvement journey and is where we ask about what is working well and not working so well with our services for SEND.

The survey is open to all parent carers in Worcestershire and is anonymous, it closes at midnight on Sunday 18th April 2021.

2021 SEND Improvement Parent Carer Survey (opens in new window)

All the responses will be analysed by Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Children First and a summary report will be produced and shared with partners. We will then publish a report where we outline what we have done and intend to do because of parent carers feedback. The ‘You said, We did’ report from the 2020 survey can be found here: Download: SEND Improvement Parent Carer Survey - You Said, We Did Report 2020 (PDF)

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.

For more information see Voice of Children and Young People

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.

Website: Starting Well Online Parenting Courses (opens in a new window)

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

Worcestershire Children First are reviewing Mainstream Autism Bases (MAB) in Worcestershire schools and looking to understand the views, feelings and journey of the children, young people, families and staff who attend or have previously attended a MAB Provision.

The following questionnaires are a chance to share your views and experiences which will be used to help shape the Mainstream Autism Bases and ensure pupils get the best support in the future.

The closing date for responses is Friday 12 March 2021.

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.

Download: SEND Improvement Parent Carer Survey - You Said, We Did Report 2020 (PDF)

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.

Website: Keeping children and young people entertained

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

See our dedicated web page from more information and guidance on SEND.

Website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Worcestershire County Council

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: sen@worcschildrenfirst.org.uk or by telephone on: 01905 846000.

The SEND Team thanks you for your co-operation.

Worcestershire Ofsted SEND re-inspection deferred

We have received notification from Ofsted/CQC that our SEND re-inspection will not go ahead in March 2020 and will now be deferred to a later date. All local area SEND inspections and re-inspections have been postponed due to the ongoing issues surrounding COVID-19. We have been assured that the Worcestershire local area SEND re-inspection will be prioritised as soon as inspections resume.

We want to thank you for all your contributions so far, we have already uploaded the required evidence to Ofsted and the CQC. The parent / carer survey will be closed with immediate effect. 

We will keep you informed of any further communications we receive from Ofsted and CQC.

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.

Read the full quality mark news article

Dee Pryce and Jude Turbutt proudly stand with the presentation cheque. at  Moule CloseFundraising 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.

Read the full news article about the fundraising success

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).