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.
Following the 3-day inspection that took place between 1-3 November 2021, inspectors reported that leaders have put systems in place that effectively monitor vulnerable children and young people who are placed in Worcestershire from other local authorities, including children and young people with SEND.
The reported added that NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commission Group (CCG) has shown increased investment and commitment in their focus on children and young people with SEND and the development of Worcestershire Children First has resulted in a single, centralised organisation that now works in a cohesive structure in partnership with health services.
Coun Marcus Hart, cabinet member for education said: “On behalf of Worcestershire County Council, I fully accept the findings of the report and am pleased that inspectors recognised the improvements that have been put in place to address the weaknesses identified in the previous inspection in 2018.
“I would like to personally thank all the children and young people with SEND and the parents and carers who shared their experiences with inspectors.
“We take the feedback from parent carers very seriously and for the areas of concern where further actions are needed we will work closely with our services, schools, the SEND Improvement Board, which includes our health partners and the Parent Carer Forum (Families in Partnership) and wider parent groups. We will update our SEND strategy (2021-25) and action plan on the basis of the report to include any actions needed to make these changes.”
Dr Louise Bramble, clinical lead for women and children, NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, added: “While it is pleasing to see the improvements that have been made, we must acknowledge that some of our children and young people, families and carers have not had the experience that we want them to have.
“There’s still a lot of work to do, however, we remain committed to working closely with all of our partners to ensure that we continue to improve and provide better a service and outcomes for our vulnerable children and young people across Worcestershire.”
Visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/send for more information.