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26th Jun, 2022

County SEND campaigners repeat call for 'seat at table' over Worcestershire Children First plan

Rob George 24th Mar, 2022

SEND parents from across the county have again called for a ‘seat at the table’ in deciding how the county council runs such services in Worcestershire.

Angry parents of children with special education needs and disability (SEND) took their pleas to a meeting of the cabinet at County Hall today (Thursday).

The parents involved in the action have all experienced difficulty in accessing the right education and support for their children.

Campaigners from SEND National Crisis Worcestershire were spurred on by written responses dubbed ‘rhetotic and insulting’ following an unprecedented number of parent-carers attending and asking questions at the Children and Families Scrutiny Committee last month.

A number of concerned parents posed questions to the cabinet and repeated their desire to continue with their efforts until they saw ‘real change’ at Worcestershire Children First

“Worcestershire Children First have produced what they term an ’Accelerated Progress Plan’ to address the remaining four areas of significant weakness identified at the Ofsted/Care Quality Commission (CQC) revisit,” a spokesperson said.

Campaigners sent a response to the plans to Worcestershire Children First’s chief executive, every county councillor and county MP which expressed ‘significant concerns’ about the quality of the plan.

“We once again seek Worcestershire County Council/Worcestershire Children First to evidence their commitment in ‘open and accountable government.

“Collaboration and co-production should be the dominant driving force in delivering service but it is usually given ‘lip-service’ at best.

“SEND National Crisis Worcestershire are ready and willing to engage in true co-production and have constructive measures and ideas to contribute.

“To do this we need a ‘seat at the table’ which currently is not being given. Whilst the parent-carer forum, Families In Partnership (FiP), will have a ‘seat’ automatically, all stakeholder groups should be included in the co-production processes.

“We represent real voices of Worcestershire parent-carers and we demand to be heard,” the group added.

The Observer has contacted Worcestershire County Council for a response. 

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