Local Area Inspections

The Special Educational Consortium welcomed the decision for Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission to inspect how effectively local areas fulfil their new responsibilities

Following a long-running SEC campaign to have SEN and disability provision inspected at local level, rather than purely at a school level, the Government has recently established a new inspection framework. 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. This will provide an essential means of holding local authorities and clinical commissioning groups to account for their SEN and disability responsibilities.

We have particularly welcomed the emphasis on gathering the views of children, young people and families during the inspection process. However, we believe Ofsted and CQC should further consider how the voice of children, young people and parents can shape, keep under review, and evaluate the inspection process as a whole and that consideration should also be made of whether children, young people and parents could make up part of the inspection team.

All local areas will be inspected over a five-year period and the first inspections commenced in May 2016. We will be closely monitoring the inspection reports to ensure the children, young people and families experience is adequately reflected in the final inspection reports, and challenging Ofsted and CQC where we feel they are not.

The framework for the inspection of local areas can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-area-send-inspection-framework

The handbook for the inspection of local areas can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-area-send-inspection-guidance-for-inspectors