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Ofsted and CQC launch consultation for new SEND inspection framework

A consultation from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission presents a new draft framework for inspecting provision for children and young people with SEND.

15/06/22

Ofsted and CQC launch consultation for new SEND inspection framework

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have this week launched a consultation on proposals for a new joint framework for inspecting provision for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) within a local area.

The new inspections will be introduced in early 2023 and are said to focus on the experiences and outcomes of children and young people with SEND.

The proposals broaden the focus of inspection to look not only at whether local area partnerships are identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND, but also to assess the impact on their lives and outcomes.

The inspectorates say that the new framework will strengthen accountability for local areas by introducing an ongoing cycle of inspections and 3 distinct inspection outcomes, promoting continuous improvement by requesting visible action plans following full inspections, and strengthening Ofsted’s response where there are concerns through monitoring inspections and/or early re-inspections.

Inspection teams are proposed to include inspectors from education, health and care so that there can be a deeper understanding of how effective joint working is in a specific area.

Inspections will also focus on children in alternative provision, the majority of whom have SEND, by evaluating how local authorities commission, use and oversee it.

The inspectorates also say that there will be a greater push to gather evidence from children and young people with SEND and their families directly, as well as from area leaders, practitioners, and settings, so that inspectors understand what it is like to be a child or young person with SEND in any local area in England.

The consultation, which runs until September 11, is part of a range of engagement activities Ofsted and CQC will be doing with the sector, children and young people, parents, and carers.

“The past two years have been challenging for all of us, but the pandemic was particularly hard for the most vulnerable in society,” said Amanda Spielman, HM Chief Inspector at Ofsted. “In that time Ofsted has continued to engage closely with the SEND sector, including bodies representing children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers. That has allowed us to develop and refine the proposals for a new framework.”

“I welcome responses from the sector whether that be parents, carers or children and young people themselves to help us shape our plans further. Working together, we can ensure that every child gets the best start in life, whatever their background or needs.”

Read the draft inspection framework and contribute to the consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-new-approach-to-area-send-inspections

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