Social Care Referrals and Family Support

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

Draft SEND Strategy 2021 to 2025

In recent months we have been working with partners and stakeholders to think about our approach to meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND over the next four years.

Our draft SEND Strategy 2021 to 2025 describes the progress we have made since our last strategy, the areas where we still need to improve and based on this, our priorities for the next four years.

The strategy also describes how we intend to work together to address these priorities. We would welcome feedback from parent carers, children and young people, educational settings, professionals working with CYP with SEND and other interested parties about our approach. Download the draft strategy (PDF) responses to our online survey (opens in a new windoware invited until the 30 September 2021.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – WCF SEND Service and Educational Psychology Service capacity

The WCF SEND Team 

The SEND service is currently experiencing significant staffing shortages in our Casework Officer Teams and this may affect your communications with us.  

We are working very hard to address the current staffing issues and we will respond to your communications as soon as we can. We would be grateful for your understanding and patience during this time. 

During this period we acknowledge that we are unable to respond to queries within the normal time period but we will endeavour to respond within 5 working days. If you have not heard from us after 5 working days, please contact the Area Teams:

The WCF Educational Psychology Service 

The Educational Psychology Service is also experiencing significant capacity issues due to a national shortage of Educational Psychologists. 

Whilst the Service is working hard to secure additional psychology support there remains a backlog in the allocation of Psychologists for new EHC Need Assessments. 

There is currently a delay of up to 12 weeks in the allocation of new Educational Psychology Assessments which means that it is likely that your child’s assessment will not take place during the statutory advice giving period.

Once an Educational Psychologist has been allocated to provide advice for a child they then have 6 weeks in which to carry out their assessment and to provide the SEND Service with their report. 

SEND provision report

Worcestershire Children First have recently completed a review of the need for specialist education placements for our Children and Young People (CYP) with Education Health and Care Plans. This review has looked at pressures on existing special schools, placements made in independent and out of county settings and the cost to the High Level Needs budget. The analysis undertaken during this review has identified a number of areas where we need to consider how to meet future needs of CYP in a different way. The attached report outlines the findings of our review.

Download: SEND Provision Report July 2021 (PDF)

We are now seeking feedback from parent carers, CYP, educational settings and professionals about our findings and possible ways forward. Feedback can be given via our dedicated web form (opens in a new window) before 30 September 2021.

Survey for the Children's Appendix to Worcestershire All Age Autism Strategy

Worcestershire's All Age Autism Strategy Children’s Appendix 2021 is being written to support the vision as outlined in the Worcestershire's All Age Autism Strategy Document.

Download: Worcestershire’s All Age Autism Strategy (PDF)

This survey is designed to gather the views of parents/carers and young people. This survey will be closed 17 September at 11:59pm.

Children's Appendix to Worcestershire All Age Autism Strategy Survey (opens in a new window)

Rona Hub for Education Leavers Support

The Rona Hub has great advice on how to enjoy your summer safely including ways to stay fit and healthy, support for emotional health and wellbeing and information and advice for when your young person leaves school. For more information visit The Rona Hub.

Groups and activities for children and young people with SEND - Family Survey

Do you have a child with a special educational need or disability? If so, we’d like to hear your thoughts on a range of groups and activities we fund to find out what’s working well and how we can improve things.

Have your say

Young Adult Learning Worcestershire

Young Adult Learning Worcestershire is designed to support 16 to 18 year olds, typically below Level 2, or those young people aged 18 to 24 with an EHCP who don’t feel like a college environment is right for them. Working with our partners across the county, Worcestershire County Council have designed Study Programmes and Traineeships with work experience and employability/vocational learning at their heart. These opportunities for Worcestershire’s young adults will be delivered in locations across the county, starting in August 2021. For more information visit: Young Adult Learning Worcestershire (opens in a new window).

Proposed change of Autism/CCN team “core” offer 

Worcestershire Children First Autism/CCN Team are seeking views on a proposed change to the “core” offer of school support from the team. The proposed changes are not a reduction in support but a re-focus on developing the capacity of settings to meet the needs of learners with autism (and similar) through whole-school training, improvement visits and SENCO support. Full details of the proposal and how you can give your views are available on the Change of Autism/CCN team “core” offer consultation page. Consultation runs until Thursday 24 June.

Consultation on review of the Medical Education Provision

Worcestershire Children First has completed a review of the Medical Education Provision and are proposing a multi-agency, preventative approach to meeting the needs of children who are unable to attend school in the short term, due to their health. Details of the approach and proposed changes are available at The Medical Education review and proposed new approach. There you will also find the links to the consultation which is now live and runs to midday on Tuesday 6 July

All Age Disability Service

A programme of work has started to progress on the All Age Disability Offer here at Worcestershire County Council (WCC) 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

Updates

All Age Disability Service update May 2021 (PDF)

Further updates will be issued here in due course.

Contacts

If you have any questions or queries about the service please email: AADSquestions@worcestershire.gov.uk.

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.

Find out more about our SEND improvement journey

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 (opens in a new window)

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

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

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.

View the news archive