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(UK) Birmingham: Govt to take over 'failing' SPED; "FIRST INTERVENTION OF ITS KIND"

Oct 19, 2021, DfE commissioner to take over ‘failing’ Birmingham SEND provision

W. Midlands The government is sending a commissioner to take over special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services in Birmingham, after the city council failed to remedy “significant weaknesses”. In the first intervention of its kind, the Department for Education has appointed former Hampshire County Council chief executive John Coughlan as commissioner for SEND services in Birmingham. The local authority was issued with a statutory direction on Friday after a second damning local area SEND inspection from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The DfE said it was satisfied the council was “failing to perform to an adequate standard in some or all” of its SEND functions. The direction, published today, states that the council must comply with “with any instructions of the secretary of state or the SEND commissioner in relation to the improvement of the council’s exercise of its SEND functions”. Schools Week previously revealed that councils which failed to improve their SEND provision despite repeated warnings are at risk of being taken over by government commissioners.... SEND pupils continued to make weak academic progress when compared with pupils nationally and would have to wait years to receive the specialist support they needed.... “That’s why we have issued Birmingham City Council with a direction that sets out the steps we expect them to take in raising standards in their SEND services, including the appointment of a SEND commissioner to oversee this work, and report back to the government.”...


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