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Government consults on inspecting special educational needs provision in local areas

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are calling for views on a new form of inspection starting in May 2016.

Inspectors from Ofsted and CQC will assess how effectively local areas are fulfilling their obligations towards children with special educational needs. The inspections will evaluate the local area as a whole, including the part played by education settings. Crucially, inspectors will look at a sample of pupils’ files and information about their progress.

Sean Harford, Ofsted’s National Director for Education, said: “We’re now turning our attention to the ways in which local areas deliver services for children and young people with special educational needs. We’ll look carefully at how the local area identifies the needs of young people and scrutinise how well it meets these needs. This includes nurseries, schools and colleges as well as the contribution of specialist services, such as speech therapy and other specialist educational and health services.”

The consultation, which closes on 4 January 2016, asks for responses to the following four proposals (see the consultation document for the scope of each proposal):

  • Inspectors will evaluate how effectively the local area identifies children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities
  • Inspectors will evaluate how effectively the local area meets the needs and improves the outcomes of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities
  • A wide range of information will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of local area arrangements. This will include the views of children and young people, parents and carers, recent inspection reports, and visits to a number of local education and health service providers
  • A wide range of approaches will be used during the inspection to obtain the views of disabled children and young people, and their parents and carers, including meetings, online questionnaires and social media.

Care Quality Commission Chief Inspector of General Practice, Prof. Steve Field added: “Young people and children with special educational needs or disabilities can face a complex system comprising many different health and educational agencies. It can be a bewildering experience for families having to coordinate different types of support.

“That’s why it’s important we examine how well these different partners work together to meet the care needs of this often vulnerable group.

“It’s absolutely right that in the twenty-first century, all children and young people receive the support they need and deserve. We need your views on how to best inspect in this area and urge you to help us define this critical programme.”

NAHT and NAHT Edge will be submitting a response to the consultation representing the views of members. You can also submit an individual response online, via email or post to the following address:

Schools Policy Team
Aviation House
125 Kingsway

To find out more about this consultation, visit gov.uk.

Page Published: 03/11/2015