Ofsted and CQC to improve SEND systems in local areas

The Department for Education (DfE) and Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) have commissioned Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) to visit local areas to help improve their SEND systems following the COVID-19 disruption.

Ofsted and CQC will work 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 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.

Ofsted has published a report that evaluates what has gone well and what the new inspection framework could improve on.

Ofsted 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."


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