Support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Warwickshire is improving with visible progress being made.  

This was the finding of the latest Department for Education and NHS England review meeting of SEND services in Warwickshire. 

In the latest feedback, inspectors acknowledged the continued determination and pace of Warwickshire County Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board who have been working together with a range of partners including Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice to improve the delivery of services provided.  

The report noted that the local area continues to make good progress and most actions are on track on the Written Statement of Action (the improvement plan following the local area SEND inspection in 2021). Particularly good progress has been made with the SEND Local Offer and the foundations of strong coproduction practice are in place with parent carers. Waiting times for autism assessments are reducing steadily. 

The Department for Education and NHS England concluded that Warwickshire have worked hard since the last monitoring meeting to demonstrate the impact of their improvement work where this is known. 

Key updates from the latest review meeting with the Department for Education and NHS England in February 2023 are as follows:  

Area 1: Autism waiting times and support for families:    

  • Waiting times for a diagnostic autism assessment have reduced from 242 weeks to less than 118 weeks. 

  • Capacity in the local neurodevelopmental service has been increased to meet the demand for referrals. 

  • Additional capacity from external providers has been commissioned to clear the backlog of individuals awaiting an assessment. 

  • A self-help offer has been developed including an e-booklet of advice and information, a promotional campaign and ‘Together with Autism conferences’. 

  • An education-led stepped approach to better facilitate and enable adjustments to be made in education and support provided in education pre assessment and post diagnosis is being developed. 

Area 2: Communication and engagement with parent carers:    

A wide programme of communications and events continues including:  

  • Coproducing a framework to strengthen relationships with parent carers, including adopting a restorative approach. 

  • 90% of SEND staff have attended restorative practice training. Relational communication training has been delivered to the SENDAR team. 

  • Strengthening disagreement resolution processes. 

  • Increased communication with schools to help them understand the range of services available and how to support families 

  • Developing a whole system approach to co-production with parent carers and children/young people across education, health and social care.  

  • Parent carers have responded positively to parent carer webinars and are appreciative of the information and advice received.  

  • The Live Feedback Form is capturing the voice of parent carers.  

  • Young People involved with IMPACT are positive about engagement. 100% of young people surveyed reported they felt engaged and listened to.  

Area 3: Inclusion in schools:   

  • A multi-agency Inclusive Schools working group has coproduced an inclusion action plan including developing a school inclusion charter and identifying SEND Change Champions in schools. 

  • An Inclusion Framework for Schools trial in 17 schools in Rugby has been carried out to test out a new model of inclusion with peer-to-peer support and targeted training. 

  • Including SEND in the school categorisation process, with a section on inclusive practice. 

Area 4: Workforce development:    

  • A local multi agency workforce development task group with parent carers is in place to co-produce the workforce development action plan in primary and secondary schools. 

  • Surveys have been carried out to measure uptake of training and confidence levels of staff, parent carers and children/young people. 

  • All SEND training has been reviewed and collated into an online training catalogue making it easier for schools to access training 

  • A programme of targeted support has been delivered to schools to improve understanding of meeting needs of children and young people with SEND. 

  • SEND training has been delivered to School Governors, with positive feedback. 

Area 5: SEND Local Offer webpages:    

  • Improvements to the landing page listening to feedback from Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice and SENDIAS. 

  • Increased accessibility with the addition of the ReachDeck tool for the Local Offer website.

  • Extensive promotion of the new SEND Local Offer so it is clear to everyone what is available in the local area.  


Warwickshire County Council’s Strategic Director for People, Nigel Minns said:   

“I am pleased that the Department of Education and NHS England have confirmed that good progress is being made, including the Local Offer and coproduction practice. It shows that Warwickshire is progressing and moving in the right direction.  

“As a local area we know that there are still challenges ahead, but we remain committed to working in partnership, increasing co-production, and building on the expertise within the system to improve outcomes for all children, young people and their families in Warwickshire.”  


Gabrielle Stacey, from the Department for Education said:   

“Local area partners are working together effectively to ensure good progress with their Written Statement of Action. The partnership consistently demonstrates high aspirations for children and young people with SEND in their improvement work”. 


Tracy Pilcher, Chief Nursing Officer, NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board, said:  

"We continue to make progress on our Local Offer for children and young people with special educational needs in Warwickshire, working closely with children, young people and families to develop services which meet their needs. I am particularly pleased to see that the waiting times for a diagnostic autism assessment have reduced significantly. Although there is still more to be done in further reducing these waiting times, this represents a step in the right direction which should be celebrated."  

The inspection report can be found here   

For more information on Warwickshire’s Local Offer, please visit the Local Offer webpages or the Local Offer Facebook page.  


Published: 28th March 2023