City launches strategy to improve lives of young with SEND

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A strategy designed to improve the lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Wolverhampton has been launched.

The Wolverhampton Strategy for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 2020-23 sets out the vision and key priorities that the council and other partners in the city will focus on over the next three years.

It has been developed by the Wolverhampton SEND Partnership Board and demonstrates its commitment to making sure children and young people with SEND and their families have the opportunity to achieve a good quality, ordinary life.

The strategy, which was subject to consultation between July and September, also supports the City of Wolverhampton Council’s 10-year Children, Young People and Families Plan which aims to improve the resilience, health and emotional wellbeing of children, young people and families in Wolverhampton.

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This strategy reflects the vision that Wolverhampton is an inclusive city where we work with children and young people with SEND, and their families, so that they can achieve their full potential.

“The strategy recognises that all children with SEND are individuals with aspirations to lead their own lives. While life for a child or young person with SEND and their family is anything but ordinary, the ordinary life principles are what extraordinary achievements are built on.”

Some of the key activities that will support the delivery of the SEND strategy include:

  • Planning to ensure the city’s education estate meets the needs of all of Wolverhampton’s children and young people.
  • Improving processes for assessing and planning support for children with SEND that embed person-centred and joint working for SEND support and for those with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.
  • Improving the provision of short breaks.
  • Developing the offer from the city’s Strengthening Families Hubs to provide better early help to families of children and young people with SEND.
  • Through the Transforming Care Programme improve support for children and young people with autism or a learning disability.
  • Implement the Culture of Belonging programme to improve capacity in mainstream schools to become more inclusive and ensure the right support is available to pupils at risk of becoming disengaged from education.
  • Review and improve the city’s leisure offer for children and young people with SEND.
  • Work with education providers and the Employment and Skills Board to improve availability of and access to inclusive employment pathways and opportunities.

The full strategy is available to view on the SEND Local Offer webpages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/local-offer-send-strategy.