Councillors have approved a detailed action plan which will help bring about further improvements in services and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families in Wolverhampton.

The Written Statement of Action outlines the steps that will be taken to address areas for improvement identified by inspectors from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission following the SEND Local Area Review, which took place in September. 

The review looked at how well the City of Wolverhampton Council, the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, 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 and, ultimately, improve outcomes for them.

Inspectors spoke to children, young people, parents, carers and professionals, read case files, observed practive and attended meetings as part of the review. 

They reported their findings in November, highlighting both areas of good practice and areas for improvement, and requiring a Written Statement of Action to be prepared by Local Area partners which was approved by members of the council's Cabinet last night (Wednesday 19 January, 2022). 

Following minor amendments and approval by partners, the Written Statement of Action is due to be submitted to Ofsted next month. It will then be published on the council website and Local Offer pages once it has been approved by Ofsted, which is expected in early March.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "Giving children and young people the best possible start in life is a top priority for the council and our partners, and that is especially true for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

"As a city, we are committed to improving support, services and provision for SEND children, young adults, parents and carers in Wolverhampton and are committed to working in partnership with, and harnessing the expertise of, service users and the staff who work to support them.

"We are also committed to ensuring that the parents, carers and the children and young people with SEND themselves are directly and transparently involved in co-producing the services that support them, so that that they receive high quality education, care and health provision.

"The inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission provided an external assessment of where we and our partners are in our continuing journey to transform SEND services in Wolverhampton.

"They agreed with us as to areas where performance is strong, and the areas where we must improve, and the Written Statement of Action sets out the steps we and our partners will take, and are already taking, to drive forward the necessary improvements to ensure that all our children and young people with SEND and their families get the help and support they deserve."