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Today our local area SEND inspection report was published. Set out below is a statement from the Director of Children, Families and Education, Simone White  and the Chief Officer for NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, Simon Banks.

In September 2021 Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the borough’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provision, to look at how various organisations in our local area have responded to the reforms outlined in 2014 Children and Families Act.

This inspection covered health, social care and education services, including reviewing performance data and evidence about the local offer and joint commissioning. Inspectors spoke with children and young people with SEND, parents and carers, local authority and NHS officers. They visited a range of providers and spoke to leaders, staff and governors about how they were implementing the SEND reforms

We have now had the report back, it’s available to view here and we wanted to write to you to show our commitment to what happens next.

Recently Wirral’s Children’s Services came out of Government intervention with positive feedback received about the changes already put in place and the ‘clear vision for delivering high quality services’.

With the protection and welfare of children at the forefront of efforts across the whole borough, this latest inspection report of SEND services shows that while considerable progress has been made in helping vulnerable young people, there is still a substantial way to go to support all children.

It is crucial that children in Wirral and their families are valued. We want you to know you are valued, and that this is reflected in you shaping and receiving the help and care your family needs in a timely manner. Achieving this will be at the heart of what we do. However, there are no quick fixes and it will take some time to get this right.

We need to make sure that those children, young people and adults with special educational needs, and their parents and carers have their voices embedded in how the services are set up, run and delivered. We are committed to continuing to improve this.

We want to work with you to enable your lived experience to drive improvements and deliver the best possible outcomes.

We are now looking to a future in which our children and young adults with SEND are happy, getting the services they need and making good educational progress to allow them to achieve their aspirations and goals.

Below, we have set out the next steps we need to make to continue this improvement process.

Next steps:

  • A new assessment process for Education Health and Care Plans will reduce barriers and challenges for parents/carers so that all children have their needs assessed and considered without question.
  • We will ensure that parents/carers are involved and informed at every step in the assessment process.
  • We are looking for a new ways in which can recruit more people to do psychological assessments for Education Health and Care Plans so that we can meet our targets.
  • A new Democratic Youth Partnership will mean greater engagement of young people in key policies and strategies across all our partner organisations including SEND.
  • Improvements on joint commissioning across all SEND provision in Wirral will see better, more joined up services.
  • Communication will be better on all levels: greater involvement of parents and carers, not only in their child’s assessments and discussions but also in making important decisions about services and the help and support available for families will be integral in moving forward
  • Plus a much wider local area transformation plan to improve all aspects of services in partnership with others.

Link to Ofsted – https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50173702

Simone White – Director Children, Families and Education, Wirral Council

Simon Banks, Chief Officer, NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group



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