SEND Area Ofsted inspection

Improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) publish a report on the area SEND consultation and a new area SEND inspection framework.

GOV.UK - Improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND (external website)

HMCI commentary: publishing our new area SEND framework

Amanda Spielman announces the joint Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report on the area SEND consultation and a new area SEND inspection framework.

GOV.UK - HMCI commentary: publishing our new area SEND framework (external website)

The Local Area Inspection - next steps

Following the outcome of the Area SEND inspection, The Local Authority must jointly (education and health), produce and then submit a 'Written Statement of Action' (WSoA). This must be jointly approved by Ofsted (education) and CQC (Care Quality Commission, Health).

There is no standard template and it is expected that what is produced will already be part of the Local Area's SEND Development and Improvement Plan.

The outcome of the inspection identified what as an area we are doing well and areas which require improvement, this information is all important and reflected in the improvement plan, the Written Statement of Action (WsOA) focuses on four specific areas where we need to accelerate progress.

For East Riding these are as follows:

  • the shortage of appropriate school places, especially for children and young people with ASD and SEMH needs
  • the experience of children, young people and parents and carers of the EHC plan process, the variable quality of statutory assessments, and the timeliness and quality of annual reviews
  • weaknesses in the communication and relationship with the range of groups representing children and young people, parents and carers, and local voluntary groups
  • the poor outcomes for children and young people at SEND support attending mainstream provision.

The WSoA must explain who is responsible for doing what, with time frames by when they will be achieved. The areas must be clearly prioritised with realistic timeframes.

A WSoA must be written in plain English for everybody to understand and it is a jointly produced plan developed in partnership.

The WSoA must be able to show what impact these actions will have on the lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families.

Once approved the WSoA forms an agreement which cannot be changed until a revisit has taken place. Allocated advisors will form part of the monitoring process thereafter and will support the Local Authority in reaching its ambitions. Formal monitoring will take place every 4-6 months where feedback will be provided to the Minister about identifying the progress which is being made. These monitoring visits will continue until the Local Authority has received a revisit and the areas identified have been addressed.

Post-inspection communication

Dear parents and carers, children and young people, friends and colleagues,

Following our inspection visit from Ofsted in October we have now received the report which we would like to share with you.

Please note however, that despite the report being dated the 1 December 2021, this was received at 4pm yesterday, 7 December 2021. The report will be published on the official Ofsted website on Tues, 14 December 2021

The purpose of the visit was ‘to judge the effectiveness of the area in implementing the special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014’.

The findings in the report outline the many strengths that we jointly deliver, both from an educational and health (CCG) perspective. The inspectors are fully in support of our SEND Development Plan which outlines the same key areas that the inspectors have in their summary which they would like us to jointly improve upon.

As a consequence, the area is required to produce and submit a Written Statement of Action (WSOA). The four key points, which they would like to see us improve upon, are as follows and are already integral to our Development Plan. They are as follows:

  1. The sufficiency of appropriate school places for those with Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs and those who have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

  2. Families’ lived experiences of the Education Health and Care (EHC) process including the timeliness of Annual Reviews.

  3. Weak communication and poor relationships between the authority with parents and carers, young people, local voluntary groups and those groups who represent children and young people.

  4. Poor outcomes for children and young people at SEND support who attend mainstream schools.

Together we will continue to work towards achieving these goals.

A message from the Director of Children, Families and Schools

Eoin Rush, the then director of Children, Families and Schools at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, acknowledged there had been significant challenges across the SEND system for a number of years but was heartened that Ofsted had endorsed the 10-point SEND Development and Improvement Plan, as well as placing faith in the current leadership team.

He said: “This was a thorough inspection of the SEND services and I want to acknowledge that some of our children and young people, families and carers have not had a good experience with us historically, and for that I am sincerely sorry.

“As local area leaders we recognise there is much to do to rebuild trust, to ensure we have effective and transparent co-production processes, so all partners feel listened to and our children and young people, parents and carers feel well-supported.

“It was encouraging to know the inspectors agreed with the areas of weakness we had already identified and supported the current leadership team as well as giving their backing to the SEND Development and Improvement Plan as the way for us to make progress.

“The plan, which was unanimously approved and endorsed by members across the political landscape at a Full Council meeting in October, includes more specialist training for frontline staff and continued local investment in the development of new provision to help ensure children and young people can have their needs met locally.

“While significant improvements have been made over the last two years, there is still a lot of work to be done and that will not happen overnight.

“The level of funding in the high needs system nationally remains a significant challenge but the council will continue to lobby the Government to address the funding gap for SEND services.

“We are committed to delivering this plan effectively and in a timely manner, so all children and young people are valued and know their outcomes are important to us."

Paula South, interim chief operating officer for East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We welcome the findings from the recent inspection and recognise that, whilst there are some encouraging signs, much more work is needed to improve local SEND services.

“We want children and young people, and their families, across East Riding of Yorkshire to receive the best possible experience when accessing these services, and we remain committed to working alongside our colleagues within the local authority, schools and voluntary sector on the local SEND Development and Improvement Plan to fully address the issues as set out in the Written Statement of Action.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council report findings (pdf 126kb)

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

Tracey Craggs

Director Integrated Commissioning & Transformation


Neil Griffiths

Assistant Director Mental Health, Learning Disability, Maternity & 0-25


Jo Newsome

Assistant Director Continuing Health Care/Complex Cases


government/publications/local-area-send-inspection-framework (external website)

government/publications/local-area-send-inspections-information-for-families (external website)

government/publications/local-area-send-inspection-guidance-for-inspectors (external website)

Attached is some useful information the EYPCF have produced for parent carers about the SEND Ofsted inspection.

Ofsted Information 2021 (pdf 248kb)

East Riding's SEND Written Statement of Action (WSoA)

Here you will find East Riding of Yorkshire's SEND Written Statement of Action, produced in response to the inspection of local SEND services by Ofsted.

Local Area Written Statement of Action (WSoA) for SEND - 10 Point Plan (pdf 2.26mb)

The key findings that have been highlighted during the monitoring visits are mentioned in the sections below along with full copies of review meeting minutes:

November 2023 Update

The SEND inspection framework that East Riding was inspected under in October 2021 was changed in 2023.

Under the previous SEND Inspection framework the Department of Education (DfE) and NHS England (NHSE) would continue to review progress against East Ridings WSOA until there was a revisit from Ofsted and the CQC, which would usually happen within 2 years of the initial inspection, but as we have moved to the new inspection framework, SEND reinspection visits no longer take place.

It is expected that at some point in the next three years, East Riding will be inspected under the new framework.

Until that time the DfE and NHSE will continue to monitor progress against the WSOA, and to hold formal review meetings every six months. If progress continues against each of the areas in the WSOA, this may be stepped down or move to an informal basis using the SEND Development and Improvement Plan as a basis for discussion.

The next monitoring visit from the DfE and NHSE will be in February 2024.

East Riding SEND Written Statement of Action (WSoA)- Monitoring visit 19 September 2023

  • There have been a number of changes in senior leadership recently. The DCS post is being interviewed currently.
  • Progress has now been made on new appointments. Project Officer (SEND and Local Offer) in place from August 2023. The Local Offer website has now migrated to the new platform.
  • Head of SEND recruited. Business Manager recruited. Business support functions brought under Business Support Manager
  • Some progress has been made against actions, where they are behind schedule this was identified as being due to capacity. Recent appointments will provide capacity to help move things forwards.
  • The meeting received a presentation from health. Health identified that financial resources have been a barrier to progress. A review of therapies is underway in light of increased specialist school placements. ICB, public health and LA are working together through the commissioning framework.
  • Health have increased investment in SALT, SMASH(social mediation & self help), Sleep Service, Dietetics, Sensory Processing Service
  • Working closely with the Transforming Care Partnership , Keyworker Service and Integrated Dynamic Support Register.
  • The Delivering Better Value grant application has been agreed. There will be three key areas of focus through this programme: improving the Local Offer, specialist teaching team offer and improving EHCP review.

WSOA Final Note of Standard WSoA Review Meeting - 19 September 2023 (pdf 365kb)

East Riding SEND Written Statement of Action (WSoA)- Monitoring visit 18 May 2023

  • Progress has been made against actions, where they are behind schedule this is predominantly related to capacity.
  • The embedding of the new funding formula to support and increase the notional funding of SEND in mainstream schools according to the LA has started to increase the capacity to meet SEND but too early to see any quantitative data outcomes.

WSOA Agreed Note of Standard WSoA Review Meeting - 18 May 2023 (pdf 278kb)

East Riding SEND Written Statement of Action (WSoA)- Monitoring visit 12 January 2023

  • Agreement of the advertising and recruitment in January 2023 the following posts:
    • Head of SEND
    • Head of Place, Sufficiency and Development
    • Head of integrated Commissioning
    • Business Support Manager
  • The council is undertaking a review of total pay and reward which has impacted on the recruitment timeline. Additional capacity was secured through interim consultants however, some consultancy appointments have been terminated which has delayed implementation of some aspects of the WSOA. These new appointments have been approved and interviews will take place in the new year
  • Contact have worked with the PCF and the LA regarding communication and there appears to be greater clarity with a common understanding now being developed
  • The embedding of the new funding formula to support and increase the notional funding of SEND in mainstream schools according to the LA has started to increase the capacity to meet SEND but too early to see any quantative data outcomes
  • The SEND Training Programme through the work of the Educational Psychologists and the work of the specialist support teams are beginning to show greater engagement of schools and an increase in their understanding of SEND.

WSOA Draft/Agreed Note of Standard WSoA Review Meeting - 12 January 2023 (pdf 235kb)

East Riding SEND Written Statement of Action (WSoA)- Monitoring visit 9 September 2022

  • There are clear detailed strategic plans in place linked to an overall SEND Improvement plan.
  • Significant work has been undertaken with regards to wide ranging data analysis that has effectively informed the strategic plans.
  • The lack of capacity to take forward the actions particularly in Area 1 has thwarted the ability of the LA in meeting the action points and timelines.
  • Considerable work has been undertaken in building up and recruiting the SEND teams. Currently key posts have been appointed to thus ensuring that specific areas of the WSOA can now be progressed.
  • Contact a Family have appointed Pat Bullen, a specialist SEND adviser to work with the PCF to improve working relationships with the LA. This remains an area for concern in terms of achieving a trusting and effective partnership to take actions forward collectively.
  • The LA are submitting capital plans to the DfE for new special free school builds.
  • The new Associate DCO and DCO have now very recently taken up post and are developing clear plans for future developments.

WSOA (N) Draft/Agreed Note of Standard WSoA Review Meeting - 9 September 2022 (pdf 210kb)

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