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(UK) Dudley: Parents slam council over failing special needs kids

Sept 5, 2022, Birmingham Mail: Dudley parents still not happy with care for their disabled kids

Central England

Parents of disabled children in Dudley are still not happy with the care provided by Dudley Council. A report published by Ofsted says "too many" parents continue to feel "let down" by the local area systems for children and young people with Special Education Needs or Disabilities (SEND). According to the report, a "significant" proportion of parents and carers say that services have not improved over time. The concerns of parents and carers link to a wide range of areas, including the assessment process, the timeliness and quality of Education Health Care plans, communication with local area officers and the child and adolescent mental health services.

Ofsted highlighted six areas out of 14 where Dudley Council is still showing weaknesses. As well as parent dissatisfaction, two areas of key concern show pupils with SEND currently make slower progress than other pupils and a lack of local provision post-19 for young people with the most complex needs. Council leaders have acknowledged that the level of dissatisfaction is deep-rooted and based on long-term issues in the local area, which will take time to address and remedy. However, Dudley Council points out that since the previous inspection, levels of absence and persistent absence for children and young people with SEND have continued to reduce.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, the cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are constantly striving to improve our support for children and their families. “I’m really proud of how our staff have not only supported families but also improved services over the last couple of years whilst dealing with the issues of Covid too….


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