Wolverhampton SEND Update - January 2023

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Wolverhampton SEND update


Brenda Wile - Deputy Director of Education

Brenda Wile photo

Welcome to the first edition of our SEND newsletter of 2023

I hope you find the newsletter useful and interesting.  As you will learn from this update we are continuing to improve our Local Offer by creating a new standalone website providing information, advice and guidance for families and I would be very appreciative of your input into what you would like to see included in this platform as well as how it looks and works.  It is important to us that it is easily accessible for you and is simple to navigate so that you can find the section you are looking for.  If you would like to input into this development please contact hardip.jassal2@wolverhampton.gov.uk.  You don’t have to be a web design expert, or even have any technical knowledge around IT, we have expertise within the council for this, but as a user or potential user your thoughts will help us shape the website so that it meets your needs.

Similarly, if you would like to provide information or an article for this newsletter, please get in touch.  We’d be delighted to hear from you.

I’m really looking forward to the Hy5! meeting tonight when our young people representatives on the forum will be meeting with senior officers from the Department of Education and the Care Quality Commission at the Oasis co-production hub and giving their views on our Written Statement of Action that we developed following the SEND Local Area inspection that took place in September 2021.  You can also read the feedback from our recent monitoring visit in this newsletter.

Finally, we are the early stages of planning an Information/Fun Day for SEND families during the Easter holidays so if you have any thoughts on what you would like to be included in this event, please get in touch.

Email hardip.jassal2@wolverhampton.gov.uk

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SEND Local Offer

Wolverhampton’s Local Offer provides children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their families, information about what support is available in the local area. It helps parents, carers and young people see and access the range of services that they may need.

Developing a new SEND Local Offer

We are planning to move the Local Offer website from Wolverhampton Information Network site to a new standalone website. This website will exclusively focus on SEND services and support as many parents, carers and young people have requested for this to be done. After reviewing feedback from Voice4Parents, children, young people and professionals we have a clearer view of what the requirements are for the new website.

Our next step is to engage with young people about designing the new logo and explore illustrations and images that families will like to see on the site. The new website will be developed with a refreshed look and feel to best meet parents, carers and young people’s needs. We will continue to engage and work together with families throughout the journey of planning the content, deciding how to publish and review the Local Offer as well as enabling families to make comments about it.

Visit Local Offer - Wolverhampton Information Network

Email localofferenquiries@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Good news

Review finds continuing improvements to SEND services

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Monitoring Visit December 2022

Good progress continues to be made to further improve services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Wolverhampton.

A recent review meeting with the Department for Education and the Care Quality Commission found that there is "considerable evidence of actions being taken" by the city’s SEND Partnership Board following a 'Local Area Review' of SEND services which was held last autumn.

The review highlighted a number of areas of good practice and those which require further development, and a Written Statement of Action was produced to outline the steps that would be taken by partners to further improve SEND services in the city.

The review meeting found that Wolverhampton has put in place "effective governance, strategic leadership, partnership working and co-production" to support the implementation of the Written Statement of Action. The focus "remains on driving the actions forward at pace".

The participation of young people is "emerging as a strength", meaning they can be purposefully engaged in future commissioning activity, and additional staff have been recruited across the SEND partnership to strengthen capacity.

The focus is now on considering what difference the changes that are being introduced are having on people's lived experience, with partners gathering evidence from professionals, children, young people and families ahead of a 12-month review meeting next year.

Find out more on Wolverhampton's SEND Written Statement of Action (WSoA). | Wolverhampton Information Network

Get involved

Wolverhampton's Parent Carer forum Annual Survey 2022-23


Voice4Parents are Wolverhampton's Parent Carer forum. They have launched their Annual Survey – Now Ofsted has happened and we know where area's across the City need to improve, we feel that now, more than ever the Parent Carer voice needs to be strong and more importantly heard. The only way this can happen is if we get the feedback direct from the families that know what they need! It is essential we have your recent views and opinions to ensure we are best representing you and how it feels for you and your family over the past 12/18 months.

It is estimated that this survey will take 40 minutes to complete and as such for every completed survey we will enter you into a prize draw for the following:

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1st Prize – £100 Supermarket of your choice Voucher 

2nd Prize - £50 Supermarket of your choice Voucher 

3rd Prize – £25 Supermarket of your choice Voucher 

This Survey will Close on March 31st 2023. In order to fill out this survey, please either click the link below or scan the QR code.

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Short Breaks

Short breaks provide invaluable support for disabled children, young people and their families. While children are given opportunities to become more independent, enjoy new experiences, form friendships; their families are able to take time out of their caring role. They can run from just a few hours to a few days or longer, depending on the type of break, the needs of the child and their family.

The Short Break strategy focuses on improving this provision for children or young people with a disability and their families when they need this most. 

Following some delays due to staff changes the Short Breaks strategy is moving forward with an initial paper and draft specifications having been shared with interested parties including Voice4Parents (Wolverhampton's Parent Carer forum) for comment and discussion. More news will be provided when available.

Related news

For information about ‘what’s on’, information / awareness raising sessions, activities and local support please see news from the following trusted sources:

Wolverhampton Local Offer

WIASS E-Bulletins

Wolverhampton Voluntary and Community Action