Jill Crosbie, Assistant Director for SEND, Birmingham City Council
"Chris and Alison arrived in Brum to find multiple challenges in the SEN world. We are a very large, diverse city with a very young population. We have a complex landscape of schools and providers and commission SEN provision across the city and beyond. The political leaders decided a root and branch review of the city’s approach to SEND was needed and set up an inclusion commission to oversee the work. Chris and Alison have led the review working on 6 workstreams and consulting with stakeholders right across the piece.
They have brought a clarity and professionalism to the process inspiring trust and confidence amongst arents, schools and officers. They have synthesised and summarised effectively ensuring everyone is heard and that ultimately the ‘golden threads’ shine through.
We are now ready to feed back the results of the review to the commission and look forward to developing a new holistic approach for SEND. SEND4CHANGE have been pivotal in helping us focus and creating confidence that we can develop our new approach right across the 0-25 age range".
Paula Nightingale, Head of Inclusion Services, Derby City Council
"I worked together with SEND4Change as a link for the Local Authority to develop a fair and transparent system and a local decision making model in partnership with schools to allocate funds from the High Needs Block for those Children and Young People on SEN Support - often referred to as ‘Top-Up’.
The work included meetings with Senior Leaders from the Local Authority, analysis of LA SEND expenditure, chairing meetings with a headteacher group writing work plans for the project, reviewing the effectiveness of SEND Team, developing criteria by areas of need and developing the SEND Funding Pathway together with the pro forma. This work also included setting, modelling and fronting the funding pilot with schools and LA leaders. Then finally training for LA staff on the proposed funding model.
Chris and Alison have a long experience on SEND. Both very good at listening, professional, ‘unshockable’ and really easy to work with. The most amazing thing when working with Chris and Alison was simply the quality of it, and their response and turnaround of any work is very quick.
The SEND Funding Pilot was successful and after agreement from the Cabinet the SEND funding Pathway - structure, process and procedure is now being implemented.
I would work with Chris and Alison anytime anywhere".
Andrew Beckett, Assistant Director for Inclusion, London Borough of Waltham Forest
‘We are very grateful to SEND4Change for completing this important piece of work. Chris and Alison were able to respond to our needs in an efficient, timely and highly professional manner. The final report was a well written document which effectively articulated the relevant data, the drivers for change and requirements for further development of our special school provision . The exercise involved consultation with key stakeholders and this was carried out with humour, enthusiasm and a genuine collaborative approach which ensured stakeholder sign up and commitment to change.
The exercise was delivered with pace and skill and helped us to develop and evolve our thinking. The outcomes included in the final report have been used to shape a clear set of options and recommendations which have directly influenced and improved our decision making about future developments for special schools in Waltham Forest. The consultants have a wealth of knowledge and experience in SEN and disability and I am happy to endorse them as a specialist team in this area and would readily engage their services again.'