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

Families in Partnership If you would like to know more about how you can get involved with shaping services, Families in Partnership is Worcestershire's parent carer forum.

They are an independent group of parent carers of SEND children who work alongside Worcestershire County Council, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they deliver meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in the county.

To find out more, including how you can get involved, visit the Families in Partnership website (opens in a new window)

SEND Accelerated Progress Plan (APP)

The Worcestershire Local Area SEND Accelerated Progress Plan (APP) has now been approved by the DfE and NHS.

We are grateful to all parents, carers and professionals who have come together to work with us on the development and delivery of this plan.

A copy of the plan and summary are available to download from our SEND Improvement Plan page.

Government Green Paper on SEND and Alternative Provision published

The Government’s SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper was published on Tuesday 29 March. It sets out their vision for a single, national SEND and alternative provision (AP) system that will introduce new standards in the quality of support given to children across education, health and care. 

You can access a copy of the Green Paper: SEND Review Green Paper (GOV.UK)

Alongside the Green paper, they have also published a dedicated SEND Review website with further information about the consultation and upcoming events: SEND Review Campaign (GOV.UK) 

You can find additional resources on gov.uk to help understand the green paper: SEND and AP Green Paper responding to the consultation (GOV.UK)

The Green Paper is the result of the national SEND Review, commissioned to improve an inconsistent, process-heavy and increasingly adversarial system that too often leaves parents facing difficulties and delays accessing the right support for their child. 

The plans to reform the system will be open for a 13-week public consultation, giving families the opportunity to shape how a new system will work in the future - and give them confidence that their local school will meet their children’s needs so they can achieve their full potential.
 

The SEND Parent carer survey has now closed

The third annual parent carer survey was co-produced by Families in Partnership and Worcestershire Children First and is one of the ways that we ask for feedback about services for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Thank you to those people who took the time to take part, the 2022 survey is now closed.
The response to the survey and the comments in it will be published in the form of a ‘You said, We did’ report which will be available on these pages.

The response to the 2020 and 2021 surveys can be found here: SEND Local Offer - Your feedback so far

Following feedback about this year’s survey, next years Parent Carer survey will be revamped and go live in February 2023.

 

SEND Service - Staffing update

Sarah Wilkins, Director for Education, Early Years and Children with Disabilities has written an open letter to parent carers to provide an update on staffing changes within the SEND service.

Download letter on staffing changes in SEND (PDF)

Improvements recognised in services for children and young people with SEND

An inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) into Worcestershire’s approach to special education needs and disability (SEND) has recognised that sufficient progress has been made in many areas of the service.

The report acknowledges that the local area has made sufficient progress in eight out of the twelve significant weaknesses identified at the initial inspection in 2018.

Download a copy of the Ofsted and CQC report (PDF)

Consultation on Worcestershire’s approach to Top Up Funding

Worcestershire Children First have been working to review our approach to Top Up Funding for CYP with SEND. We invite you to read our proposals and respond with your views by the 4th February 2022 at the following link: Consultation on High Level Needs funding for pupils with Special Education Needs December (opens in new window)

For more information:

Download: Proposed changes to Worcestershire's top up funding criteria (PDF)

Download: Statutory consultation on high needs level funding for pupils with SEND December 2021 (PDF)

Ready, Steady Worcestershire Winter School Holiday activities

Ready, Steady Worcestershire have partnered up with providers across Worcestershire to offer free holiday activities for a fun, action packed Christmas Holiday period.

These activities are available to families of children aged between 5-15 who are receipt of benefits-related Free School Meals or families who are referred to the programme by our professionals or community partners.

The full programme is inclusive of all needs, and there are some specialist providers who are really experienced in activities for children with SEND and spaces have been secured at these clubs so they can be offered first to the children that would most benefit from them.

To read more and book visit: Ready Steady Worcestershire - school holiday food and activities | Worcestershire County Council

Will Quince MP, speaks to the National Network of Parent Carer Forums

Last week, Will Quince MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Minister for Children and Families, spoke to the National Network of Parent Carer Forums and announced work with Nasen and MicroLink to launch a pilot which will test how training can increase school staff confidence and capability in using assistive technology. On the SEND Review, he reiterated his previous commitments to publish it alongside a public consultation in the first three months of 2022.

To read the speech in full visit: Children's Minister speaks to the National Network of Parent Carer Forums - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) (opens in new window)

Update on reinspection of SEND services

Following the recent visit from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to inspect our local area approach to special education needs and disability in early November, we would like to update you regarding next steps.

The purpose of the inspection was to determine whether our local area has made sufficient progress in addressing each area of serious weakness detailed in the Written Statement of Action (WSOA) produced following the last inspection in 2018.

During the inspection, meetings were held with a range of providers and services and inspectors spoke with children and young people and parents and carers about their experiences.

The draft inspection report has now been completed and is undergoing quality assurance by Ofsted. We are expecting the final report to be published on the Ofsted website before Christmas. This will be publicly available to anyone who wishes to read it. Our SEND strategy (2021-25) action plan will be updated on the basis of the report to include any actions needed and we will be working closely with Families in Partnership on this to ensure we are in agreement as to the way forward.

Will Quince MP, Minister for Children and Families, has written an open letter to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their families and those who support them.

In the letter, the Minister reaffirms his commitment to delivering the SEND Review and the importance of supporting the most disadvantaged children and young people. He outlines his plans to continue to visit schools, nurseries and colleges around the country to directly hear first-hand from children, young people, parents and carers, school, college and local authority staff as well as meet with SEND organisations and experts so they can influence proposals.

To read the letter in full, visit: An open letter to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities from Children and Families Minister Will Quince - The Education Hub (opens in a new window)

Alongside the letter, the Department for Education has published information about the members of the SEND Review Steering Group. The new group was set up to assist the department conclude the SEND Review at pace and advise on proposals to be set out in a SEND Green Paper to be published in the first three months of 2022.

For further information on the group, visit: SEND Review Steering Group - GOV.UK (opens in a new window)

Reinspection of SEND services

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Worcestershire on the 1 to 3 November 2021 to inspect our local area approach to special education needs and disability.

The purpose of the inspection was to determine whether our local area has made sufficient progress in addressing each area of serious weakness detailed in the Written Statement of Action (WSOA) produced following the last inspection in 2018.

During the inspection, meetings were held with a range of providers and services and inspectors spoke with children and young people and parents and carers about their experiences.

We are awaiting the outcome of the inspection and will share the findings on the Local Offer website once published.

SEND Improvement Parent Carer Survey You Said, We Did Report 2021

In early 2021 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 parents and carers about services in the area for their children and young people with Special Educational needs/disability (SEND). This is the second such survey and it went out during the third COVID-19 Lockdown.

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, compared to previous years, and shared with all the relevant parties for comment and action. We have worked together to produce a ‘You Said, We Did’ Report (YSWD). We have used this year’s results to continue to track our progress against commentary made in the 2020 YSWD.

Download: You Said, We Did Report 2021 (PDF)

Important Information – WCF Educational Psychology Service Capacity

The Educational Psychology Service is currently 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 Needs Assessments.

There is currently a delay of up to 8 weeks in the allocation of new Educational Psychology Assessments which means that your child’s assessment may not take place during the statutory advice giving period. Once an Educational Psychologist has been allocated to provide an 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. Every effort is being made for this delay not to impact on the statutory timescale for completion of the EHC Needs Assessment of 20 weeks.

View the news archive