SEND Improvement Update December 2022

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Welcome from Helen Ellis – Director of SEND and Inclusion for Birmingham City Council

May I first start off by saying a huge thank you for the very warm welcome colleagues and partners have shown me in the past four weeks since I have been in my role here in Birmingham. It is evident that a lot of work has already taken place and I am keen to build momentum in driving forward our improvement plans. I am delighted to be here working with you and know that together we will strive to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families here in the City.

Secondly, I want to say a massive thank you to Jo Condon for all her dedication and hard work. Jo has steered the SENAR service through a very difficult time in Birmingham, and I am very grateful for her determination and resolve to increase stability across the service area. As we embark on the journey to permanently recruit to positions within the team. Whilst the permanent recruitment process is under way, Jo Sullivan-Lyons will lead the SENAR Operations Service, supported by myself and existing staff.

I am excited by the opportunities this next period presents. As this work develops I will be sharing regular updates with you all to highlight progress made and the next steps.

Improvements to SENAR Communication

We recognise that being able to communicate directly and easily with your case worker is extremely important to parents and carers. To this end we are reviewing our contact communication processes and working towards sharing phone numbers for each case worker, so parents and carers can contact their own case worker directly, within certain hours.

We will be rolling out this improvement in the new year and thank you for your patience in the meantime.

The NEW Ofsted SEND Inspection Framework – published

Ofsted has announced the new SEND Inspection Framework. More info on the SEND Framework is below. A press release for SEND framework is here Improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND – GOV.UK (

An update to the ILACS Framework (Inspection of Local Authority Children’s Services Inspection Framework) has also been published and that comes into force from 1st January 2023.

The updated ILACS Framework includes a greater focus on care leavers with an additional separate judgement for care leavers added. Inspecting local authority children’s services from 2018 – GOV.UK ( – Ofsted has also issued a press release on the ILACs

The ILACs inspection focuses on the effectiveness of local authority services and arrangements: to help and protect children; the experiences and progress of children in care wherever they live, including those children who return home; the arrangements for permanence for children who are looked after, including adoption; the experiences and progress of care leavers.

For Birmingham, whilst the inspection will review arrangements at Birmingham Children’s Trust the inspection also focuses on the Children and Families Directorate (alongside our partners) and how we are supporting our children and how we are working together as a system, alongside colleagues in Birmingham Children’s Trust, to support and achieve good outcomes for our children and young people.

New Website – Neurodevelopmental Pathway (NDP) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Please click on the link below to visit the NDP homepage:

The new website will covers the NDP umbrella of services – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and all age integrated Multi Disciplinary Teams pathway within the Children and Families Division.

The NDP webpages provides families, children, young people and professionals with a wealth of information about the NDP services, how assessment works and provides resources and signposting

  • How professionals can refer for an assessment for ASD /ADHD

(further comms will be sent to update on the ASD Electronic Referral Form going live

on 9th January 23)

  • ADHD information and processes
  • ASD information and processes
  • Signposting, FAQ’s, helpful videos
  • Locations where clinics take place
  • Explanation of virtual options
  • Information for partners
  • Ways of feeding back and getting involved in co-production

We look forward to your feedback which can be sent directly to, with subject header NDP website feedback.

Children’s Neurodevelopment Pathway (NDP) Services – Improvements

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Waiting Times Improvement Work

  • Birmingham Community Healthcare (BCHC) continued with recruitment to the NDP model throughout October to broaden the staff mix. This was positive with two additional psychologists joining the team and recruitment to three additional nurses posts starting November and December. Additional clinical support from nurses, therapists, clinical psychologists and doctors is still required to meet the current referral rates.
  • Partnerships with Healios (virtual ASD assessments 7+ years) and Clinical Partners (face to face Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) clinics 5 years – 17 years) has helped to reduce families waiting times. Healios and the NDP school age clinical team has seen over 2080 children since March 2020 (as of end of October ‘22) since the start of the Healios contract.
  • Clinical partners (a private mental health partnership funded by BSol ICB) have been commissioned to receive 1500 referrals between September ‘22 and March ‘23. As of the end of October ‘22 over 400 children have been referred and are receiving their appointments. The feedback from families for Healios and Clinical partners work with the NDP team has been very positive.
  • A clinical harms panel is in place within children’s community services to ensure any child at any point of their referral/assessment that may need to be considered for a priority appointment will be reviewed and the outcome will be based on a clinical decision (i.e. change in circumstances), this ensures the safety of all children on the waiting lists.
  • Demand and capacity work and a review of the current ADHD model and pathway continues, following an increase in referrals per week and an increase in diagnostic clinic appointments required.
  • Work to create an integrated NDP offer with Forward Thinking Birmingham (FTB) for families whose children have received a an ASD diagnosis, is in progress. This will include FTB and the NDP ASD team developing videos for the NDP website.

Children’s Neurodevelopment Pathway Services Waiting Times Data

The graphs below show that the number of children waiting and the average weeks children are waiting for all age ASD and ADOS services has reduced.

The number of school age children waiting for ADHD service has seen an increased over recent months, however the average number of weeks children are waiting to be seen has remained the same.

Early Identification of Temporary Hearing Loss in Preschool Children

New article by Anna Salo, Educational Audiologist and Teacher of the Deaf, Birmingham Hearing Support Team

Have you ever thought that a child you are supporting is ignoring you or chooses when to listen? Think again! This child may have an undiagnosed hearing loss!

80% of children under the age of 10, will be affected by a temporary hearing loss at some point in their life. In many cases this loss will be undiagnosed. Parents and professionals supporting young children should be aware of how to spot the signs of a temporary hearing loss in order to minimise its adverse impact on a child’s listening, attention, communication and social skills. This is particularly important considering that the hearing screening check for children in Reception year is no longer carried out in Birmingham.

Read all of Anna Salo’s article here – scroll down

See the Hearing Support Team’s support videos here

The RISE and YES Groups Head to Parliament armed with questions!

Read the whole article here

On Monday 28th November 2022, The RISE (Respect, Inclusion, Support and Equity) Youth Forum and The YES (Youth Empowerment Squad) joined together to visit the Houses of Parliament in London.

The groups spent an exciting day listening to MPs in the House of Commons questioning the Secretary of State for education on SEND provision and special school places. The young people also had a chance to have a Question and Answer session

with Birmingham Erdington’s Paulette Hamilton MP, before attending a workshop on Law and Debating.


“I really enjoyed the trip; it was amazing thank you! It was one of the highlights

of my whole life and thank you to everyone else who was included.”


“Pinch me! Am I dreaming?”

Have Your Say on the New SEND Local Offer website

The new SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Local Offer website is packed with information for children and young people with additional needs. Complete our short survey here or feedback on the website home page.

  • New directory
  • Easier to find what you need
  • Systems and processes explained

The Birmingham SEND Partnership has worked with parents, carers, children, young people and professionals to make this site as useful and user friendly as possible. Let us know what you think on the feedback form on the home page.

You Said – It’s hard to find anything on the Local Offer

We Did – We’ve made it much easier to find your way around the site and created dedicated areas for parents and carers, children and young people and professionals.

You Said – We want a directory of all SEND resources in Birmingham

We Did – We have created a searchable directory of resources, support and information for children and young people with additional needs. Please tell us if you know of other information that we should have there!

You Said – We need better information about the SEND system and where to go for help

We Did – The website now includes clear information on finding support for children and young people with additional needs, who to contact and timelines for SENAR processes.

Find out more about Birmingham’s SEND Local Offer via our video, give us your feedback or tell us what you want to see on the site –

Link to the survey

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