Resignation call by Central Bedfordshire councillor over council’s SEND failings labelled “political grandstanding”

A demand for heads to roll after a slow response to a highly critical special education needs and disabilities (SEND) inspection in Bedfordshire has been dubbed “political grandstanding”.

A draft improvement plan by Central Bedfordshire Council was due to be completed by May, following the report by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

But the pandemic has delayed the whole process, the council’s children’s services overview and scrutiny committee heard.

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Extensive failures outlined in Ofsted report have been “catastrophic for countless families” in Central Bedfordshire

At the recent Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee (10 March 2020), Amy Irvins, speaking for parents, told Central Bedfordshire Council that “the extensive failures outlined in the recent Ofsted report have been catastrophic for countless families.”

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Inspectors demand action after critical SEND inspection

Education and health leaders in Central Bedfordshire have been instructed to provide a Written Statement of Action following a critical inspection into Special Education Needs provision in the area.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission conducted a joint inspection in November to judge the area’s effectiveness in implementing the disability and special educational needs reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014. The report was made public today (24 February 2020).

The inspection was carried out between 18 November 2019 and 22 November 2019. Inspectors spoke with children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), parents and carers, local authority officers and National Health Service (NHS) officers.

They also visited a range of providers and spoke to leaders, staff and governors about how they are implementing the SEND reforms.

The letter to Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group included a list of findings following the joint inspection.

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Bedford Parents are being encouraged to give their views on SEND facilities in the Borough

Bedford Parents are being encouraged to give their views on SEND facilities in the Borough

Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum (BBPCF) is leading on the engagement with local families to better understand what is important to them and any barriers that families have faced and are holding a number of events in Bedford. The events are open to all those that live in or access SEND services in Bedford Borough.

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