SEND news and updates
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 email@example.com.
High Needs Commissioning Review (HNCR) – September 2016
In September 2016 Worcestershire County Council (WCC) began a High Needs' Commissioning Review (HNCR) to assess the processes and the suitability of provision in place for those Children and Young People (CYP) with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The review was both internal and external in focus, and incorporated significant work on joint commissioning between Education, Early Help, Social Care and Community Health. This joint High Needs' Plan is the culmination of work across the Children, Families and Communities Directorate, led by Education and Skills, on how to best meet the joint needs for CYP in Worcestershire.
Special Provision Capital Fund – March 2018
Local Authorities must ensure there are sufficient good school places for all pupils, including those with SEN and disabilities. The Government has committed £1,085,665 of capital funding between 2018 – 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 in the DfE website (link opens in a new window).
The DfE require Worcestershire County Council to complete and publish a short plan on how the capital will be allocated.
SEND Inspection 5 to 9 March 2018
Inspection of Worcestershire’s local areas' effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of, and improving outcomes for, children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will carry out jointly an inspection of Worcestershire between 5 and 9 March 2018. Under the Children and Families Act 2014, the government placed new duties on the local health, social and education services that provide for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. The inspection will evaluate how effectively the local area:
- identifies the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
- meets the needs of these children and young people so that their outcomes and chances of participating fully in society improve.
Information on local area duties toward children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities can be found on the Department for Education’s website.
Children, young people and parent carers – have your say
The views of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, and the views of their parents and carers will be gathered during visits to a number of early years settings, schools, colleges and specialist services. These views are critical to the inspection process. During the inspection, Ofsted and CQC inspectors will be keen to speak to as many children and young people and their parents and carers as possible. Inspectors will not be visiting your child’s provision.
The inspection will also include an online webinar to allow other Worcestershire parents and carers to contribute. The webinar will take place at 11:00am on Friday 2 March. It will led by the lead inspector, who will ask parents and carers about their views and experiences on how effectively Worcestershire is fulfilling the above responsibilities.
While we understand that many parents and carers may have views on their experience that extend before the introduction of the reforms in September 2014, it is important that this date is used as the start for gathering evidence about the impact of the reforms. We would also like parents and carers to understand that we will not be able to follow up or comment upon individual cases.
Overnight unit-based short breaks consultation – 8th January 2017
We have just run a consultation around overnight unit-based short breaks which closed on 19th February 2018. The purpose of this is to determine how we can redesign services within the funding available to ensure that we still meet the needs of families. Further information on this consultation is below. Thank you to those who responded to this consultation, more information will be added in due course.
Peer Review – 4th -7th December 2017
Worcestershire County Council asked for a peer review of SEND services to be carried out by the Local Government Association (more information in the downloads below). The Council and its key partners in this work intend to use the peer review to help identify where it is doing well and where it can improve. More information about the peer review is in the below documents. The peer review team will send a full report later in January 2018 and we will take recommendations forward in our action plan. In the meantime, the below points are the key considerations provided by the peer reviewers:
- deliver on your SEND strategy, taking every opportunity to engage staff and stakeholders in the next steps …“Do it with us, not to us”
- re-focus your relationships with schools – how you monitor, support, challenge and intervene for the benefit of children and young people with SEND
- consult and implement on a solution to meet the needs of children and young people with EHCPs where the requirement for specialist provision has been identified
- when appropriate, review the impact of learning services both within WCC and those commissioned, to benefit outcomes for children and young people
SEND Strategy – December 2017
A Worcestershire Strategy for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) has been created for the period of 2017 to 2021. This is has been approved by the Health and Wellbeing Board which is made up of partners inside and outside of the council.
The strategy sets out the vision that 'in Worcestershire we want all children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities to be truly seen and respected as individuals and to be the best they can be'. To deliver this vision, five priorities have been identified based on what parent carers, children, young people and professionals have told us is important.
These priorities are:
- A person-centred approach – putting children and young people at the centre of planning and decision making about their own care and support
- Integration and operational delivery – co-ordinating services across education, health and care to improve the Education Health and Care Plan process
- Early intervention - allowing families to be able to access information and support that can be helpful at an early stage as soon as problems or concerns arise
- Preparation for adulthood – creating a whole life approach to improve the personal transition experience and journey to adulthood
- Workforce development – developing a multi-agency workforce that understand SEND and works together to achieve good outcomes
Feedback from previous events and discussions – 11th October 2017
Since March 2017, we have held events and gone out to groups and forums to talk to parent carers, young people and professionals about services for children with special educational needs and disabilities. We asked about what's working well, what's not working well and what they would do differently. The below documents are summaries of these events and discussions: