Preparing for a SEND local area inspection
Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have announced that their new round of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) local area inspections will begin in May 2016. Eight local areas will be inspected from May to July 2016, one of which will be in the south-east region.
Below is some useful information for inspection preparation. Only some schools will be visited and if you are chosen we will make sure you have a full briefing pack. However, the below may be useful just to give you an overview of the SEND story and the key lines of enquiry the inspectors will be focusing on.
1. Things to keep in mind during the inspection
- The joint Ofsted and CQC inspection is an excellent opportunity to test whether we are on track with our development plan.
- We need to demonstrate that we understand SEND needs in our area and are clear about our strengths and weaknesses in meeting those needs.
- We need to demonstrate what we are doing to improve outcomes for children and young people (our development plan).
- We are working with our partners as one team (health, education, social care) to support children and young people with SEND.
2. Challenges we’re facing
- Funding is reducing significantly.
- There are more responsibilities and pressures as a result of legislative changes (Children and Families Act 2014).
- Growing levels of need – for example there is a 50% increase in cases of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) since 2009.
3. What are we doing to meet the challenges and improve services?
Our development plan, launched in March 2016, identifies the important issues and the steps required to develop new SEND services to improve educational and employment opportunities.
4. What will the inspection focus on?
The Ofsted and CQC inspectors will focus on the following key lines of enquiry:
- How effectively we identify the needs of children and young people.
- How effectively we meet their needs.
- How effectively our local offer improves outcomes and preparation for adulthood of our children and young people with SEND.
5. What does good implementation look like?
As we improve SEND services through implementing our development plan, it is important that:
- focusing on those with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) is not at the expense of others who need support but are not on a plan
- early intervention and support can prevent the need for an EHCP later
- our local offer is accessible and well understood
- we know whether our provision is improving outcomes for children and young people
- we must agree aspirational, yet realistic, targets for young people and monitor their progress towards achieving them
- setting goals or targets must involve children and young people and their parents and carers.
6. Next steps
We will be sending further updates and briefings in the coming weeks. If you have any queries please contact us:
LinkedIn: follow the SEND 2020 page.