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Successful Department for Education visit praises special needs support

Published 6th April 2018

Significant progress has been made to ensure children and young people in Sandwell with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are getting the right support.

In a recent monitoring visit, the Department for Education said Sandwell Council had made very good progress since it was last inspected in January 2017. Inspectors are now satisfied the areas of concern they raised in January 2017 have been addressed and they will no longer be monitoring the council on a quarterly basis.

Inspectors were pleased with Sandwell’s SEND team who assess children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to determine what specialist support they need. These experts have reviewed the needs of thousands of children and put in place new Education Health and Care Plans for 2,000 children which will now be reviewed on an annual basis.

Chris Ward, director of educations, skills and employment said: "We took the concerns from Ofsted on board and have ploughed significant resources into improving and helping children with special educational needs and disabilities.

“We have met each of the targets set out by Ofsted and we are now on track to continue to deliver a first class service to the families who need it.

"We are heartened that our improvements are making an impact and children and parents are already benefiting from the updated plans for specialist support."

This is the second time Ofsted has praised Sandwell Council services this year -  Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service was rated as ‘Good’ in its most recent Ofsted published in February. 

Some services have transferred to Sandwell Children's Trust however both support for children with special education needs and disabilities and adult learning remain the responsibility of Sandwell Council.