We the undersigned must bring to your attention the way parent carers and the wider SEND community are feeling regarding the lack of impact of the ‘improvements’ being portrayed to us by services provided by Birmingham City Council, CCG and Birmingham Children’s Trust (BCT).
Below are the key areas where we are feeling a lack of impact and would ask for Communication, Transparency and Accountability moving forward.
Children and families’ directorate.
• Early Years and Intervention.
• Lack of school places and children out of school
Birmingham Children’s Trust
• Short Breaks and Respite
• Waiting lists for assessment and package of care
• Therapies OT, SLT and physio.
• Forward Thinking Birmingham (FTB)
We have also found broader issues that encompass all the key areas.
• We are being told that this is a 2–3 year plan however there should be some small improvements being felt on the ground, we aren’t seeing this.
• The answer to everything is that a strategy or policy is written, but this does not seem to be enforced by anyone.
• Issues around data, we are finding that reported data is not representative of what we see happening in Birmingham.
• Simply saying there aren’t enough school places isn’t good enough, a 3–5 year journey is an entire secondary school period what is happening now?
• We have a post code lottery in Birmingham with some areas having access to services that other areas don’t have.
• It appears that whenever a new member of senior leadership comes into post a reset button is pressed with things starting from scratch however SEND families don’t have the luxury of pressing a reset button every time something changes.
• Plenty of focus on new families entering the SEND system, existing families need the same focus now as these families are being failed and side lined.
• ALL parents are sent to parent courses, this is the pathway and, in some cases, used to placate parents, even when said parents have already done the course and are ‘seasoned’ parents. Parent courses are also used in place of actual intervention.
• Waiting times to access therapy services
• Assessments for FTB
We ask that going forward we receive clear Communication, Transparency and Accountability around the issues raised above.
All future engagement from service providers to be clear and transparent.
We ask that the Accelerated Progress Plan be made public with proposed timelines, this will enable families to keep up to date with the progress within Birmingham and hold those responsible to account when needed.
Accountability around how money is being spent by the services mentioned.