Improvements continue following SEND commissioner report

Published: Monday, 31st October 2022

Birmingham’s SEND commissioner’s report about SEND services in Birmingham, published by the Department for Education in May, is to go to the city council’s cabinet.

The city council has already accepted all recommendations in the commissioner’s report and improvements have already been made, including:

  • Children, young people and their families are getting their education, health and care plans more quickly. With more (66%) getting them within 20 weeks, this compares favourably with other councils and exceeds the national average (65%)
  • We are communicating more effectively with parents with the help of the Birmingham Parent Carers Forum, for example through regular newsletters and events
  • Parents, children and young are able see an occupational therapist more quickly (wait time has reduced by 2 weeks to 7 weeks)
  • More children and young people with SEND are being helped to achieve their potential at all stages of their education, with: 18.6% achieving their early learning goals in primary school; reading and comprehension for our young people in secondary schools is improving; fewer young people being without a job or training when they leave school (those without employment and training is only 1.12%, reduced by 6% from last year)

Cllr Karen McCarthy, Cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “We are absolutely committed to delivering positive change through our improvement plan and great deal of work has already happened.

“Yes, there is a long way to go but real and sustainable progress is being made, which has been recognised by the commissioner. However, we have acknowledged that it will be a three-year journey to become a good service, beyond that to strive toward being an excellent service.

“I am determined that we will get there and our children and young people need us to get this right. We have stable and strong leadership in place, with a new, experienced permanent assistant director leading the SEND service. We continue to work with the Parent Carer Forum who we and the commissioner value as partners in our improvement.

“We want all our young people to benefit from the improvements we are making and we will ensure the voice of children and young people is central to all we do as a council.”

The report will go to cabinet on 8 November.

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