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Local Area SEND Inspection

Framework for inspection of local areas’ effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have SEND

  • In 2015, the Secretary of State for Children and Families has asked Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to inspect all local areas on their effectiveness in fulfilling the duties of the Children and Families Act 2014 in respect of children and young people with SEND
  •  The inspection regime commenced in 1 May 2016. All local areas will be inspected at least once during a five-year period.

Purpose of inspection

  • The inspection will review how local areas support children and young people with SEND to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, including being able to live independently, secure meaningful employment and be well prepared for their adult lives.
  • The starting point for inspection is an expectation that the local area has a good understanding of how effective it is. Leaders for the local area should have an understanding of strengths and aspects that require further development [self-evaluation]. Inspectors will test out the accuracy of this understanding during the inspection.

The role of the LA, health partners and other agencies

  • During the inspection, inspectors will visit providers and services to gain an understanding of how partners work collaboratively together to improve the life chances of children and young people with SEND
  • Services will include:
    • Schools, early years settings and FE colleges
    • Specialist support and therapies, such as speech and language therapy, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) support
    • Social care services including childcare, leisure activities, support for young people when moving between social care children services and social care adult services, and support for young people in living independently.

Inspection focus

  • Inspectors will consider how effectively the local area identifies, meets the needs of and improves the outcomes of the wide range of different groups of children and young people with SEND
  • Inspectors will pay particular attention to:
    • The extent that outcomes for children and young people are improving as a result of the collective actions
    • The efficiency of identification of SEND
    • The timeliness and usefulness of assessment
    • How well local agencies plan and provide necessary effective support
    • How well children and young people and their parents and carers are engaged and inform decisions about the strategic commissioning of services
    • How well the individual child or young person and their parents and carers are engaged in the process of assessing their needs
    • How well the local area communicates with children and young people and their parents or carers, to ensure they are clear about identification and assessment processes and criteria used to make decisions
    • The extent to which the local area gives due regard to its Equality duties to children and young people with SEND.

Handbook for inspection of local Area

  • The inspection handbook gives more detail on how the inspection is conducted and the range of evidence that will be considered by inspectors to underpin their findings:
    • During the week of inspection, inspectors will gather evidence through meetings, scrutinising and evaluating documentary evidence, visits to a range of agencies and providers and interviews with staff across the local area
    • They will gather the views of children and young people, and parents and carers by meeting children and young people, and their parents and carers, during visits to nurseries, schools and colleges at the time of the inspection, as well as meeting established groups of children and young people and their parents and carers in the local area
    • Inspectors will also review a selection of records held by providers and services, including how well records track the needs and support for children and support for children and young people through work with education, health and social care professionals.

Evaluation Schedule

  • To make judgements about the effectiveness of the local area, inspectors will ask three primary questions:
    • How effectively does the local area identify children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities?
    • How effectively does the local area assess and meet the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities?
    • How effectively does the local area improve outcomes for children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities?

Find out more…

You can find more information about the inspection by downloading the Local Area SEND Inspection Framework and SEND Inspection Handbook. Mary Rayner, Her Majesty’s Inspector, also explains the process in this Ofsted Film.

 

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