Message from joint local area leaders, Mel John-Ross, Executive Director of Children’s Services at Barnsley Council and Jamie Wike, Chief Operating Officer, Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group.
In September 2021, the Barnsley area was inspected by Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) to review how well the borough meets its responsibilities for children and young people (aged 0-25) who have special educational needs and disability (SEND). The inspection report noted many strengths and the progress we’ve made over the last two years. However, it also highlighted two areas of significant concern:
- The engagement of, and communication with, parents and carers. This includes making sure the lived experience of families influences plans for services.
- Improving the identification of, and provision for, children and young people with SEND but without an Education and Health Care Plan.
Barnsley partners, including Barnsley Council, Barnsley CCG and the Barnsley Schools Alliance, have been working to develop a Written Statement of Action (WSoA), which has now been approved by Ofsted and the CQC. Key partners and stakeholders have also contributed to the WSoA and our wider SEND Improvement Plan. A report and a copy of the WSoA will be presented at cabinet on Wednesday 18 May.
The WSoA intends to create a culture of inclusion across Barnsley. We want children and young people with SEND to thrive, achieve positive outcomes, and be engaged in their local community. We are fully committed to building partnerships with parents and carers and strengthening the invaluable influence and contribution that that they can offer, in shaping and delivering services. Equally, we are committed to improving early support and provision for children with special educational needs in the borough.
The WSoA includes specific, time-based and measurable actions. It’s clear to see which organisation is responsible for actions and how we’ll evidence that we’ve met our aims.
We are wholly committed to getting this right. Our aspiration goes beyond the WSoA; our Improvement Plan and governance arrangements are in place to help all children and young people with SEND achieve their potential.
You can read the WSoA online.