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(UK) Birmingham: Report on 'significant weaknesses' in SPED services

July 14, 2021, BBC: 'Not enough progress' over Birmingham SEND pupils https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-57835466

Birmingham has not made sufficient progress in addressing 12 out of 13 "significant weaknesses" over special educational needs, watchdogs say. Pupils make "weak" academic progress, attend school less often and are excluded more frequently than other pupils, a report in 2018 said.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revisited in May. The city council and Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group said they "fully" accepted findings. The significant weakness areas included "a lack of an overarching approach or joined-up strategy" for improving provision, the watchdogs said. After it was found pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) "make weak academic progress" compared with all pupils nationally, the latest report said there were "several areas of concern where outcomes show little sign of improvement"…. Children and young people with SEND still waited "too long" to access speech and language therapy…. Council cabinet member for children's wellbeing Kate Booth and CCG chief executive Paul Jennings said they intended to address "the fundamental weaknesses in the system" whilst building upon those "showing promise"…. A government spokesperson said it had increased its high needs funding by nearly a quarter to £8bn [$11B U.S.] in 2021-22….


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