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Ofsted and CQC seek feedback on new SEND inspections

Ofsted and CQC are asking people to share their thoughts on a new framework for inspecting services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in a local area. 

The regulators want to hear from anyone who has experience of education, health or care provision for people with SEND – including people working in services, children and young people, parents and carers. 

The consultation includes proposals for assessing how agencies in a local area work together to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND, including the impact of commissioning arrangements on people’s experiences. 

Previously, the joint area SEND inspections focused on how local authorities were meeting their responsibilities in the SEND code of practice – statutory guidance produced by the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care. 

The new proposals give a greater focus on hearing directly from children and young people with SEND, and their families. This would allow inspectors to get a better understanding of what local services actually feel like to the people using them. 

The framework would also see greater accountability for local areas, introducing a regular cycle of inspections and three inspection outcomes that make clear what needs to improve and who is responsible. 

The consultation runs until 11 September 2022 with the new inspections expected to start in early 2023. 

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care at the Care Quality Commission said:

“Good, effective regulation – just like good, effective care – is built around the needs of people who use services and an understanding of their experiences. 

“The work to develop these proposals and the feedback from people using services, parents and carers, and people working in services, will be vital in delivering meaningful oversight of SEND provision built around the voices and experiences of those who know it best.” 

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