Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published their local area SEND inspection framework and guidance for inspectors.
Its publication follows the new duties on local areas brought about by the Children and Families Act 2014. The documents provide a framework and guidance for inspectors assessing the effectiveness of local areas in fulfilling these new duties. The guidance can also be used support local areas in evaluating their practices and to encourage ongoing improvement.
The framework has been published following a long-running campaign from the Special Educational Needs Consortium (SEC) to have SEN and disability provision inspected at local level, rather than purely at a school level. Inspections will be led by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission and will focus on how well a local area identifies, meet the needs, and delivers excellent outcomes for disabled children and young people and those who have SEN.
SEC hopes that the framework will provide an essential means of holding local authorities and clinical commissioning groups to account for their SEN and disability responsibilities.
The first local area inspections are expected to start in May.