Wirral Council responds following SEND improvement notice – Birkenhead News

The Department for Education (DfE) has published an improvement notice for Wirral Council following poor progress in the district’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) sector following an OFSTED and CQC inspection in September 2021.

The notice sets out areas of significant concern identified within Wirral’s SEND services and advises the Council and members of the Wirral SEND Partnership on specific improvements to be made by October 2025.

The DfE informed the Council of this notification in a letter to the Leader of the Council, the Chief Executive, the Director of Children’s Services and colleagues in April.

Cllr Paul Stuart, leader of Wirral Council, said, “I accept and acknowledge this move by the Department for Education to issue Wirral with an improvement notice. Since the 2021 inspection, where several deficiencies were noted, our work to improve these areas has been slow and we need to do much, much more.

“While I am disappointed at the lack of progress, I welcome the notification and as a result officers have already set up an improvement committee which held its first meeting recently. The Council will meet regularly, chaired by the Executive Director of the Council. Board members will include myself as well as chief executives from education, health and care services and other key institutions in the SEND sector.

“It will provide regular updates to appointed DfE and NHS advisors who will monitor improvements as well as ensure that all board reports are published on the SENDLO website so that parents, carers and other stakeholders can follow the progress of the work its.

“The board has an important job to do and will remain focused on providing the best services for children and young people with SEND.”

Paul Satoor, chief executive of Wirral Council, said“Supporting our children and families with SEND is a responsibility held by organizations within our local partnerships.

“I am grateful to the DfE for their support and guidance as we embark on this journey of transformation and can reassure our communities that we can and will turn things around.”

Elizabeth Hartley, director of children, families and education at Wirral Council said, “Since the 2021 inspection, we have made many changes to SEND support and started many new projects as a direct result. But these changes, while not insignificant, have not been enough and we are still not where we need to be with our SEND offer for families.

“As a newly appointed director, I take this notice extremely seriously and, together with my colleagues in the partnership, I am committed to turning things around as quickly as possible.

“I meet regularly with the carer parents forum and have sat with many families who feel let down by our existing system. Those parents and families helped me to understand well what needs to change in Wirral.”

The President of the Parent Carer Forum (PCPW) said“We are delighted to hear that this has been taken seriously by the council and other partners and we continue to work alongside the Local Area on its journey of improvement.”

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