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(UK) Birmingham: HUNDREDS of "desperate parents" slam SPED services

July 14, 2021, BirminghamLive: Birmingham SEND parents 'cried in anger' as they poured hearts out to Ofsted inspectors

Desperate parents 'cried in anger' and warned inspectors some of them had at times 'contemplated the worst way out' because the failing special needs service in the city, had let them down so often and left them in crisis. Dozens of families shared their pain with Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspectors during a visit last month to check if the city's health and education chiefs had improved the failing services…. So many parents wanted to share their experiences with regulators during their inspection visit that they had to host three separate virtual meetings, each with 50 parents; 600 more shared their stories online. "People were crying and were very distressed - it was a real outpouring of anxiety and stress," said Birmingham Parent Carers Forum chair Sabiha Aziz, reacting to the findings…. "Parents tell us: 'it is not looking after my child that exhausts me, it is from the battles to get them the services they are entitled to'." The report today amounts to a 'second warning' for the city. Failings were first highlighted in a critical report in 2018. During their revisit, regulators Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission found the city has not managed to improve in almost all 'areas of significant weakness' identified in the critical judgement three years ago. Services are 'hit and miss', outcomes are poor, many youngsters do not thrive and exclusion rates remain too high, they ruled. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson could order national intervention if he is not persuaded that Birmingham City Council and Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group can together sort out the failures. The council leadership - leader Cllr Ian Ward and his children's wellbeing cabinet member Cllr Kate Booth - have apologised for the failings. They said they did not intend to 'take the easy way out' and quit over the issue but stand and fight to see it improved.


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