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(UK) Birmingham: 'long-standing embedded weaknesses, systemic failings' in SPED

Nov 12, 2021, Birmingham Live: 'Systemic failings' found in Wolverhampton's struggling services for children with special needs

Central England A review of services for young people with special educational needs (SEND) in Wolverhampton has highlighted “systemic failings” in standards. Ofsted bosses and the Care Quality Commission carried out a recent inspection that involved speaking with children and young people with SEND, parents and carers, and local authority and NHS officers. Inspectors also visited a range of providers and spoke to leaders, staff and governors about how they were implementing the SEND reforms. They concluded a Written Statement of Action (WSOA) is now required because of “long-standing and embedded weaknesses” in the area’s practice, leading to “a great deal of upset”. Families 'don't know where to go for help' “The area’s aim of every young person achieving an ‘ordinary life’ remains some distance off. "Parents and carers told inspectors of having to fight to get their child’s needs identified,” said the report. “Too many families do not know where to turn for support and guidance. "There is currently a backlog of 200 annual reviews. Waiting times remain too long…. 'Incredibly concerning' Cllr Wendy Thompson, leader of the city’s Conservative group, said: “This report from Ofsted and the CQC is incredibly concerning, especially the verdict that there are significant areas of weakness…. “The report is clear that whilst Covid has had an impact, this should not be used as an excuse, as the report states that within the service there are “long-standing and embedded weaknesses and systemic failings…. SEND is now 'high on the agenda'…


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