Agenda item

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

The Health and Wellbeing Board is asked to consider the outcomes from the Ofsted and CQC local area SEND inspection and endorse the progress made to date to deliver the Written Statement of Action.


Rachel Barnes and Marie Rooney introduced this item which reported back on the joint Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection to judge the effectiveness of the local area in implementing the SEND reforms. This inspection covered a range of commissioners and service providers within Warwickshire, looking at the effectiveness of the local area holistically in delivering the desired outcomes.


The inspection report was published in September 2021. The report reminded of the positive action and commitment of leadership to improving outcomes for children and young people, also setting out positive key findings. However, the report also identified five areas that needed to be addressed, known as “significant areas of weakness” in the terminology of such reports. These were detailed in the report. There was a requirement to co-produce a Written Statement of Action (WSoA) outlining how improvements would be made. The draft WSoA was reviewed by the County Council’s Cabinet and approved by Ofsted and CQC, then published on the WCC website. Details were provided of the related action plan for each of the areas of weakness and its delivery was now underway. Reference was also made to the communications plan and governance arrangements in place, as well as the periodic self-evaluation framework. Progress to date was reported for each of the five improvement areas. The report’s financial implications set out the funding allocated by the County Council and CCG, together with an identified risk against schools' uptake of SEND training and options being prepared for consideration by the SEND steering group.


The Board discussed the following areas:


·       The Chair recognised the amount of work which was being undertaken on this area.

·       Details were requested of the website link for the service:

·       A discussion about the expected response from schools. There would be ongoing conversations working with, challenging and empowering each other. There were change agents and champions as well as links to the well-established structures.  Reference to the endeavours to secure change agents and the rapid increase in take up from 40 to 85% of the consortia which were adopting the inclusion charter. A key aspect was continued conversations as personnel changed and creating a framework that went beyond the WSoA. It was envisaged that legislative changes would bring further requirements. There was a need to show that the required structures had been created.

·       Stella Manzie commended the work being undertaken. She was aware of challenges elsewhere and understandable tensions between parent forums and councils. For children in the care system, social workers may not understand enough about special needs and may make incorrect judgements about parents. This highlighted an important training need.

·       The Chair referred to area of weakness one which concerned waiting times for autism assessments. She spoke of the challenges and amount of work being undertaken. The measure for this area was the longest wait and there were a number of factors which impacted. However, some people were currently waiting up to four years for an assessment. There was a trajectory to reduce this timescale significantly.

·       In response to a question, Marie Rooney outlined the work undertaken with staff and governors to establish a baseline of their confidence to meet the needs of SEND students. This was then compared to available data and parents’ perceptions to assess how well schools were able to meet the needs of pupils with additional needs.




That the Health and Wellbeing Board comments as set out above on the outcomes from the Ofsted and CQC local area SEND inspection and endorses the progress made to date to deliver the Written Statement of Action.

Supporting documents: