Ahead of the half term break we wanted to share an update on the issues that families have raised with us since September and also the work that has been happening on the Wokingham Written Statement of Action.
Thank you all for your feedback on home to school transport at the start of this term. We met with WBC representatives from SEND and Corporate Transport teams a couple of weeks ago WBC have agreed to the following actions:
Develop clear expectations of all parties in respect of Home to School Transport. This will include expectations on the local authority in respect of planning and timeliness; expectations of providers in relation to engagement with families; and expectations of families in respect of applying and accessing provision.
Consistently review communication methods and channels to ensure that families are kept informed of transport related information and any issues related to Home to School Transport; and ensure that parents can share any issues and concerns to have them resolved appropriately.
Develop training on work with children with SEND for travel providers as a means of ensuring quality practice. The appropriate sharing of basic child needs information with providers and their operatives (drivers and travel assistants), so that they understand the needs of the children in their care during transport.
Improve the timeliness of notification in relation to Home to School Transport. Ensuring that applications for Home to School Transport are received in a timely way to support effective route planning to take place early and with fewer changes, so that parents can be notified of arrangements sooner.
We are awaiting further details of the plan and timings to address the actions above, and how WBC are going to work with SEND Voices Wokingham and families to ensure your lived experiences can be used in coproducing the solutions, we will let you know when we hear back from them.
The WBC Home to School and Post 16 Transport Policy Consultations are still running until November 6th. More Details can be found here: Transport Consultation
All the transport information we have received from you to date has been shared with the group that have developed these new policies. We now really encourage as many families as possible, especially those who use Home to School or Post 16 transport services, to complete the consultation survey ahead of these policies being signed off by the Council Executive. We are also running some focus groups to discuss the proposed changes with families. If you are interested in joining one of these groups, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have raised the concerns that many parents have shared about the EHCP Annual Review process and families not receiving updated paperwork when there are changes to the EHCP with both the SEND Team and also Senior Management. We have received the following response from the SEND Team:
"Both Schools and the SEND service have been actively working on processing any annual reviews that took place last academic year and did so during lockdown, attending many meetings virtually with some having been attended physically where it was requested by families and was safe to do so. Annual review meetings should be taking place in line with statutory timeframes and if parents/ carers have any concerns they need to contact the SEND team so that these concerns can be looked into on a case by case basis"
We know many of you are still waiting for updated paperwork following changes to your childs EHCP at the Annual Review meeting. Please could anyone who is waiting for updated paperwork please email their Case Officer and the SEND Team (email@example.com) and cc firstname.lastname@example.org, marking it URGENT- ANNUAL REVIEW INCOMPLETE, so that anyone who is still waiting for updated paperwork has it completed as a matter of priority and to meet statutory requirements.
The Oaks Resource unit @ St Crispin's School
It has been confirmed that the Oaks Resource Unit at St Crispin's School will not take any further pupils from September 2021. St Crispin's have reassured SEND Voices Wokingham that these changes will not affect any pupils currently at the unit and the young people currently studying there will continue to do so, through to the end of their education. St Crispin's have stated that they remain committed to offer "Excellence for all".
SEND Voices Wokingham have raised families concerns that this will lead to a reduction of local provision, particularly for those pupils who are academically able, need a little more support than a standard mainstream setting can offer, but do not need a place at a special school. We will let you know any further development or information we receive about this type of provision in the borough.
Wokingham Written Statement of Action (WSoA)
Work on the WSoA and the 6 task and finish groups continues to progress to address the areas of improvement required in the Wokingham Borough following the Ofsted & CQC Inspection in March 2019. Some of the highlights are....
0-25 SEND Strategy - the new co-produced 0-25 SEND Strategy is progressing and we are hoping that after half-term there will be a draft document to share with you and get your feedback on.
EHCP Timeliness & Quality - we are pleased to report that the timeliness of EHCPs meeting the 20-week deadline for issue remains greatly improved at around 80%. Work has been completed to co-produce a new EHCP Template, thank you to those parents who gave up their time on a very hot summer evening and gave very valuable feedback which helped shape this new document. Work is also progressing on the Ordinarily Available document. This explains to education settings and families the provision that the local authority expects to be made available for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities in education settings. More information will be available on this after half term.
Co-production at all Levels - the Wokingham Co-production Charter has now been updated with the comments from the consultation, again thank you to those of you who took the time to complete this consultation. The Charter has now been sent to all partner organisations for them to sign-up to. This working group will focus on the setting up of a Youth Forum to ensure the voice of children and young people is heard as well as monitoring how co-production is working at all levels whether that is individually with you and your family or at a more strategic level with SEND Voices Wokingham.
Data Collection - work continues to ensure the right information is being collected to monitor all aspects of SEND provision from the timeliness of the EHCPs to how many SEND school places are required in the Borough.
Multiagency Working - a pilot study is now being planned for early 2021 to look at how multiagency teams can be involved as early as possible; the Ordinarily Available document will form an important part of supporting this.
Preparation for Adulthood - work is progressing on a Parent's Guide for Preparing for Adulthood.
Please keep letting us know your experiences, what is working well and what can be improved so that we can work with Education, Health and Social Care to improve services in the borough.