Joint local area SEND inspection in Birmingham

October 11, 2018

In June 2018, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out a joint inspection of the local area of Birmingham to judge the effectiveness of the area in implementing the disability and special educational needs (SEN) reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.
Main findings:

  • A lack of strategic and coordinated leadership means that pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities have failed to achieve as well as they should have done.
  • Leaders have not ensured that the 2014 reforms have had a marked impact on improving provision and outcomes for children and young people who have SEN and/or disabilities. Until very recently, health, education and social care teams have not worked together effectively at a strategic level. As no one has taken a clear and cohesive overview of provision and outcomes for children and young people who have SEN and/or disabilities, the local area has not implemented the reforms effectively.
  • Significant periods of change across the partnership have led to a lack of an overarching approach. There is not a joined-up strategy for SEN and/or disabilities across Birmingham.
  • There is no strategic oversight of health professionals’ contribution to education, health and care (EHC) plans. The quality of EHC plans is variable. Some are good but many of them are poor.
    They tend to focus on short-term educational outcomes and contain little information about health and social care needs and provision. Outcomes are not sufficiently aspirational or measurable.
  • Waiting times are too long. Children and young people are not seen quickly enough by a range of therapists or professionals in the child development centres (CDC).
  • Co-production (a way of working where children and young people, families and those that provide the services work together to create a decision or a service which works for them all) is not embedded in the local area. Actively engaging with parents to help shape services and commissioning is very rare in Birmingham.
Now, Birmingham Voluntary Services Council (BVSC) has been asked to undertake a survey of anyone who has experience of using Birmingham’s Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) services, in order to review and understand its users’ experiences.

Find out more here.

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