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CQC OFSTED Send Area Inspection

Published: Sunday, 7th August 2016

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The Department for Education has asked Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to inspect local areas including Education, Health and Care on their effectiveness in fulfilling their new responsibilities for disabled children and young people and those with special education needs. All local areas will be inspected, with an interval of up to five years. Inspections commenced in early May 2016. Key elements of accountability are set out in The Children and Families Act 2014 and The SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years. 

The three areas of inspection focus are:

  • The effectiveness of the local area in identifying children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • The effectiveness of the local area in assessing and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • The effectiveness of the local area in improving outcomes for children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities 

It is the intention of these inspections to reassure parents and carers, families, children and young people on the successful implementation of the reforms to SEND, in addition local areas through this process will self-assess and receive an opportunity from the process of inspection to receive a clear plan for improvement.

During the week of inspection, the lead HMI, Ofsted inspector and CQC inspector will:

  • Gather evidence through a range of meetings with leaders from education, health and social care agencies to discuss and evaluate their impact in leading provision for special educational needs and disabilities across the local area
  • Hold meetings with children and young people to discuss their views and experiences, plus meetings with parents and carers to hear their views and discuss their involvement in identifying and assessing their children’s needs and review how well they are engaged in working with leaders across the local area to drive improvement
  • Inspectors will scrutinise and evaluate documentary evidence used by the local area to strategically plan and evaluate impact in meeting the requirements of the Code of Practice and delivering high-quality practice
  • Arrange visits to a range of agencies and providers to meet with staff and review documentary evidence and interview staff across the local area to understand the impact of the local area’s effectiveness

What progress have we made in the London Borough of Sutton on our inspection preparations?

We are currently preparing a self-evaluation summary of the progress we are making in implementing the reforms. Beyond that a series of workshops are being arranged with Care, Education and Health to prepare a more detailed evaluation of our effectiveness. This is an ongoing process which will be regularly repeated throughout the year.

Timeline for inspection

All Local Areas will be inspected commencing from May 2016 and all within five years. Brighton, Bolton, Gloucestershire, Nottinghamshire and Enfield have been inspected recently.

Further information:

Please watch the HMI YouTube video at

o Local areas - a new inspection framework being introduced - YouTube