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(UK) Worcestershire: 500 families of special needs kids "not confidence" in services

Feb 24, 2022, Planet Radio: Parents not confident in plan to address failures of Worcestershire Children First


Parents of children with special educational needs say they aren't confident in the plan to tackle to failures of Worcestershire Children First (WCF). WCF is in charge of providing support to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the county. A 2018 Ofsted inspection of the service found 12 areas of significant weaknesses…. Following the recent inspection, the body has created an accelerated plan to address the failures. This was scrutinised by councillors during a meeting yesterday (23 February). "These are children's lives we're talking about" Around a dozen parents and carers attended and spoke of their personal struggles with the service at the beginning where some of them held up photographs of their children…. Tracy Winchester, who has two children who suffer with autism and anxiety, said: "They can't even see the flaws in it (the plan) when they're being pointed out to them…. Tina Russell stressed she is listening to parents about their concerns and the plan will address them properly. "I've recently been reading many of the concerns parents have brought to my attention so hearing them in person today wasn't a surprise but it was still hard to hear. "I absolutely feel confident in the plan. We heard these things which were emphasised again today and those are the things we've reflected on." SEND National Crisis Worcestershire, who represent over 500 families in the county who have children with special educational needs, wrote an open letter to education and health secretaries recently to say they still have no faith in WCF. Also speaking at the meeting, Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member with Responsibility for Education, said: "We are genuinely listening and I as the political leader of this area of the council am determined that we get this right. "Those aren't just hollow words and I do believe we have made substantial strides since the inspection in 2018.


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