Review finds continuing improvements to SEND services

Review finds continuing improvements to SEND services

Good progress continues to be made to further improve services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Wolverhampton.

A recent review meeting with the Department for Education and the Care Quality Commission found that there is “considerable evidence of actions being taken” by the city’s SEND Partnership Board following a ‘Local Area Review’ of SEND services which was held last autumn.

The review highlighted a number of areas of good practice and those which require further development, and a Written Statement of Action was produced to outline the steps that would be taken by partners to further improve SEND services in the city.

A recent review meeting found that Wolverhampton has put in place “effective governance, strategic leadership, partnership working and co-production” to support the implementation of the Written Statement of Action. The focus “remains on driving the actions forward at pace”.

The participation of young people is “emerging as a strength”, meaning they can be purposefully engaged in future commissioning activity, and additional staff have been recruited across the SEND partnership to strengthen capacity. 

The focus is now on considering what difference the changes that are being introduced are having on people’s lived experience, with partners gathering evidence from professionals, children, young people and families ahead of a 12 month review meeting next year.

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, said: “We want to ensure all our children and young people have the best possible start in life, and this is especially true for those children and young people with SEND.

“The Local Area Review was an important assessment of where we are at as a city. The inspection team agreed with us as to the areas where performance is strong, and about those areas where we as a local area must improve. 

“The Written Statement of Action was developed to help drive forward further improvements, and I am pleased that partners are continuing to make good progress in implementing the changes that they need to make, and starting to gather important evidence about the impact that the changes are having on people’s lives.”

The Local Area Review looked at how well the council, the Black Country and West Birmingham Integrated Care Board, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, the Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Early Years’ settings, schools and further education providers identify, assess and meet the needs of children and young people with SEND.

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