Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
Supporting local areas to prioritise and meet the needs of children and young people with SEND
Ofsted and CQC will visit local areas to support strengthening special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) systems in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, before returning to full inspections when it is right to do so.
Ofsted visits in the autumn
Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) have been commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) and Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to visit local areas to help improve their SEND systems following the COVID-19 disruption.
Ofsted and CQC will work collaboratively with local areas to understand the experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families during the pandemic, and to support local areas to prioritise and meet their needs.
The visits are not inspections, nor will they replace the current area SEND inspection cycle. They will give insights into how the SEND system is working from the autumn term, while the area SEND inspection cycle remains on hold. We will not give a formal judgement for a local area nor publish individual reports. We will share learning from these visits, alongside good practice and case studies, in national reports. This will help to strengthen the whole SEND system in a positive way.
Ofsted and CQC will return to complete the current inspection cycle when it is right to do so, and these visits will help us to determine when local areas will be ready for this.
A new framework
We are committed to promoting ongoing improvement in the SEND system beyond the current crisis, because we know that many of the problems we see now precede the pandemic. DfE, with the support of DHSC, has therefore formally commissioned Ofsted and CQC to develop a new area SEND inspection framework, with inspections beginning once the existing cycle finishes. This will be a regular cycle that will form a part of Ofsted and CQC’s core inspection activity, continuing to hold areas to account for their SEND arrangements and promoting improvement.
Ofsted has published a report that evaluates what has gone well and what the new inspection framework could improve on.
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman said:
There is no doubt that children and young people with SEND and their families have been affected significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many hard-working professionals and organisations have responded admirably by finding innovative ways to support children and families, we must not lose sight of the wide-ranging disruption to essential support and services still faced by many.
Our joint visits to local areas with CQC will be collaborative and supportive, designed to support the whole SEND system. I am also very pleased that Ofsted and CQC have been commissioned by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families to develop a new, ongoing area SEND inspection framework. This will continue to drive lasting and vital improvement in the whole SEND system.
8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday 0300 013 0415
Latest News from
Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
Children and young people with SEND disproportionately affected by pandemic16/06/2021 11:20:00
Long-standing problems in the system of care for children and young people with SEND have been made even worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report from Ofsted has found.
Ofsted: culture change needed to tackle 'normalised’ sexual harassment in schools and colleges11/06/2021 13:15:00
Sexual harassment, including online sexual abuse, has become ‘normalised’ for children and young people, a review from Ofsted has found.
Ofsted publishes research review on languages education07/06/2021 13:15:00
Ofsted has published the fourth in a series of reviews into different subjects across the curriculum. The latest review looks at languages education.
Ofsted publishes research review on mathematics education25/05/2021 15:15:15
Ofsted has published the third in a series of reviews into different subjects across the curriculum. The latest review looks at mathematics education.
Evaluating the education inspection framework: for schools and further education and skills providers21/05/2021 15:05:00
Chris Jones discusses some of Ofsted's findings from an evaluation of the impact of the education inspection framework (EIF).
Nearly 9 out of 10 parents say their child’s school handled COVID-19 well21/05/2021 10:05:00
A large majority of parents (87%) think that their child’s school has handled the pandemic well, according to Ofsted’s annual Parents Survey for 2021, published yesterday.
Some pupils with SEND missing out on specialist support14/05/2021 13:15:00
A new research report shows that some pupils with SEND in mainstream schools are not getting enough help to support their learning and development.
Ofsted publishes research review on religious education12/05/2021 12:10:00
Ofsted has published the second in a series of reviews into different subjects across the curriculum. This review looks at religious education (RE).