SEND Area Inspection
Update on the OFSTED and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) framework for inspection of local area services for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Area SEND inspections have been suspended due to the Covid pandemic but are due to recommence from 21 June 2021.
East Riding is one area in Yorkshire and Humber still to be inspected under the current regulatory framework.
The inspection team will be led by an HMI from Ofsted and will include a Children’s Services Inspector from the CQC, and an Ofsted Inspector usually recruited from a local authority but without connection to the local area being inspected. Inspections will last for five days.
Please can you remind teams that the inspection is due at any point from 21 June and that the inspection team may want to visit your school or setting to triangulate the information they have reviewed regarding the areas strengths and areas of development.
What is the inspection framework for local area SEND Services?
- OFSTED and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) adopted a new inspection framework in 2016 for the inspection of local areas’ effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
- The inspections focus on services delivered and commissioned in a local area for children and young people with SEND and their families by the local authority, health services, early years settings, schools, providers and further education providers.
- The inspections will include both early help services and more targeted or specialist services, covering the full range of SEND needs and not just children and young people with the most complex needs and an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
- The Inspections will also consider how well these services work in partnership to meet the needs of children and young people and their families.
- Area SEND inspections have been suspended in response to the Covid pandemic, but inspections are due to restart from 21 June 2021. East Riding could be inspected at any point from 21 June (during term time).
- Statutory duties on local areas for children and young people with SEND aged 0-25 years are set out in the Children’s and Families Act 2014 accompanied by the SEND Code of Practice (2015) statutory guidance.
How will the inspection be carried out?
- Local areas will receive notification of the inspection five working days before the team of inspectors arrive, normally via a phone call before 10am on the Monday morning. The Local Authority Named Officer (LANO) is Ronnie Hartley Head of Children and Young People’s Specialist Services. During these 5 days the inspection team will request evidence and data and establish a webinar immediately after notification.
- Inspectors will be in East Riding for one week, starting on the following Monday.
- Inspection teams will usually consist of three inspectors, though this may be increased depending on the size and complexity of the local area health economy.
- The inspection will begin with a meeting between the inspection team and senior leaders from the local authority and health partners.
- Individual inspectors will then attend planned meetings with a range of leaders from education, health, social care and voluntary sector agencies to discuss and evaluate provision for SEND across the local area.
- They will also meet with children and young people and with their parents and carers to discuss their experiences and views of the support they have received.
What will inspectors do?
- The inspectors will gather evidence about the effectiveness of local area arrangements and services using a range of different methods.
- They will meet with leaders from local agencies, as well as with children, young people, parents and carers.
- They will review information about the local area, documents provided by the local area such as self-evaluation assessments, strategy documents and the development and improvement plan.
- Inspectors will also access information from the case files of a sample of children and young people.
- Inspectors will visit a range of educational settings including early years, primary and secondary schools and further education colleges. The purpose of these visits are: to gather the views of children and young people and their families about the way their needs are being met; to discuss with managers and staff their understanding of the effectiveness of the local area in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people; and to sample files of children and young people to look for evidence in support of the local areas’ own evaluation and effectiveness.
- The effectiveness of the settings themselves will not be evaluated under the inspection framework; settings will remain subject to their own inspections of teaching, learning and outcomes for children, and the SEND inspection will only be focused on the impact of the local areas’ effectiveness for children and young people with SEND.
What does the framework include?
The inspection will cover and report on the following key aspects of local area effectiveness:
- Identifying children and young people with SEND
- Assessing and meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND; and
- Improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND.
The outcome of the inspection will be reported in a letter to key agencies within the local area and will be in narrative form rather than graded judgements for the three aspects. The letter will outline areas of strength and key priorities for improvement, and will be published on both the Ofsted and CQC websites usually within 33 days of the end of an inspection.
Key contacts and further information
The inspection will involve children and families, schools and settings, all parts of the Children and Families Directorate alongside partners across the Health Sector and Adult Services.
Key contact for the Area SEND inspection within the Local Authority
The key contact for the Area SEND inspection within the Local Authority is Ronnie Hartley Head of Children and Young People’s Specialist Services.
Health contact information
Director Integrated Commissioning & Transformation
Assistant Director Mental Health, Learning Disability, Maternity & 0-25
Assistant Director Continuing Health Care/Complex Cases
Attached is some useful information the EYPCF have produced for parent carers about the SEND Ofsted inspection.
Ofsted Information 2021 (word 42kb)