A national project aiming to improve ways of working for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is being unveiled – and Wirral is set to be part of it.
Wirral is one of 55 local authorities taking part in the Department for Education’s Delivering Better Value (DBV) in SEND programme.
The scheme will provide financial support and examples of best practice to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND, and manage financial pressures, in a sustainable way.
Councillor Sue Powell-Wilde, Chair of Children, Young People and Education Committee, said, “As an authority we provide services for children and young people with SEND from their early years into early adulthood, to age 25. Wirral, like many areas, is facing significant financial pressures in providing special educational needs and disability services.
“The SEND support system is highly complex and there is not a quick or easy fix so the DBV SEND Programme is providing short term support to explore opportunities to improve outcomes for children and young people and improve financial resilience.”
The programme is split into two phases: diagnostic and implementation, with the expectation that the project will be completed by December 2023.
During the diagnostic phase, action plans will be developed to deliver different approaches that will support better outcomes for young people, and throughout this phase the government will collate information from participating councils to identify good practice and use it to inform future national policy.
Wirral is currently taking part in this phase, with schools, education and health partners as well as parents and carers soon to be invited to partner workshops later this year. The implementation phase will deliver on the findings from the diagnostic phase.
Cllr Powell-Wilde continued, “Partner involvement is vital to create a Wirral-wide approach and ensure that children and young people’s needs and outcomes are met.
“As well as making a difference for local families the programme offers an opportunity for collaboration with other areas and, most importantly, the chance to improve the experience and outcomes for children and young people with SEND while delivering more sustainable services that benefit everyone.”
The programme ends in December 2023 when Wirral Council will have the opportunity to bid for £1million of additional grant funding.
This video provides an overview of the Delivering better value programme: