High praise for special needs education

Young people from Landgate School in a sensory garden they are creating with staff from Wigan Council
Young people from Landgate School in a sensory garden they are creating with staff from Wigan Council

An inspection into services for children with special educational needs has found young people and their families “are at the heart” of Wigan Council’s strategy.

The joint visit by Ofsted and CQC looked at how the council and partners deliver health, education and social care services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their transition between children’s and adult services.

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A positive report follows Ofsted judging the council’s services to support children who need help and protection as good 18 months ago; Wigan being one of a small number of areas nationwide to receive a good judgement for safeguarding children and a positive SEND inspection.

Inspectors praised a plan in place to transform services and reflected that it has been and will continue to be co-designed with families and youngsters.

Multi-agency partnership working was highlighted as a strength and giving staff permission to make decisions was shown to be “improving lives”.

The parent-carer forum was called a strong mechanism for sharing, support demonstrating the council’s approach to co-producing services with families based around their needs.

Coun Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for young people’s services, said: “We are very proud of our staff from across the partnership who work tirelessly to support our children and families as acknowledged through this inspection.

“We know that there is so much more we can do together through The Deal to improve our approach to SEND. Following this thorough inspection and the very positive outcome, we can deliver our future services with confidence, while continuing to place our children and families at the heart of the plans that they have helped to develop.”