Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
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First SEND inspection outcome letters published

The first 2 reports about these joint inspections are about SEND services in Bolton, and Brighton and Hove.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission have yesterday published the first 2 reports from their new inspections of local areas’ services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The first 2 reports are about SEND services in Bolton, and Brighton and Hove.

The aim of the new inspections is to assess how effectively local areas are meeting their obligations to children and young people who have SEND. They seek to reassure families that local areas are being held to account, while also supporting local areas to improve.

The inspections cover a wide range of services and report on what local areas do well to support these vulnerable children and young people and where they need to improve.

The outcome letter from the inspection of Brighton and Hove reports that children and young people with SEND, and their families, are very well supported in the area.

In Bolton, inspectors found that the vast majority of specialist provision in schools is of a high quality and the views of parents and carers are taken into account. However, school leaders did not always know how well children and young people with SEND were faring compared to other pupils and students. Inspectors also found that a wide gap exists in the academic progress of children and young people at both primary and secondary levels compared to those who do not have special educational needs.

Joanna Hall, Ofsted Deputy Director for Schools, said:

Accountability helps to raise standards – as we have seen in the rising proportion of good or outstanding schools in recent years.

I am optimistic that, over time, these joint inspections will help to improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the country. Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission inspectors have found examples of excellent work, particularly in Brighton and Hove. It is my hope that other areas will see what is working well and give serious thought to emulating that good practice.

Steve Field, Care Quality Commission Chief Inspector, said:

All children have the right to healthcare that is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. I’m pleased our inaugural inspections have identified good practice and we hope that the rest of the system can learn from the positive examples we highlight.

During this five year programme of inspection, we hope that our work will shine a spotlight on the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities, improving their experience and outcomes in the long-term.

Outcome letters for other areas inspected by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will be published in the coming months.

Note to editors

The outcome letters about the inspections of Bolton, and Brighton and Hove are online. These are inspections of the local area, comprising all the services provided to children and young people with SEND. They are not inspections of the local authority.

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