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Ministers have appointed the first SEND “improvement adviser” at a council in negotiations for a multi-million pound government bailout to stave off bankruptcy.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) was issued with a statutory direction this week after failing to make enough progress since a damning 2021 Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspection. 

As part of the intervention, John Coughlan has been appointed as “strategic SEND improvement adviser” to report back to ministers on the council’s progress. 

Coughlan was appointed as a non-executive commissioner for Birmingham’s failing SEND services in 2021. Hull and Slough councils have also had their own commissioners.

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