Area Inspection by OFSTED and CQC
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) area inspections
From May 2016 Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission started working together to inspect a local area’s effectiveness in SEND provision. This means that they look at how Education, Social Care and Health are preparing children and young people with SEND to live as independently as possible and, where possible, get meaningful employment as they move into their adult lives.
They look at how Education, Social Care and Health are:
- identifying children and young people’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
- meeting the needs of children and young people who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
- improving outcomes for children and young people who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
They will look at how they all work together to improve the outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Somerset.
What happens during the inspection
The Inspectors will interview staff from Education, Social Care and Health. They will look at data, reports and case studies to decide how Somerset is fulfilling its roles under the Children and Families Act 2014.
The Inspectors want to hear from parent carers, children and young people. They do this through visits to preschools, nurseries, schools and colleges. They also run a webinar to gain parent views and speak to the Parent Carer Forum.
Additionally, Somerset Parent Carer Forum will be gathering views to be able to feedback your experiences through their support groups, workshops, social media and surveys. As soon as we know they are inspecting we have five days to prepare and we will use our newsletters and social media to keep you up to date on opportunities to be involved. Schools will also send information home to families.
What happens after the inspection
Ofsted publishes an outcomes letter to the local area leaders after inspection and this will be published on the Ofsted website. This letter gives the main findings from the inspection. It sets out the local area’s strengths and what it needs to develop against the three main areas as above.
If you want to know more there are videos on Somerset Parent Carer Forum’s website or you can contact them at the forum. We encourage you to sign up for our newsletters and look at our website as we will use these to let you know the work we are doing and about local events. If you do not have access to a computer we are happy to post a newsletter to your home address.
We oversee a range of support to meet the needs of children and young people in education aged 0 to 25. Educational support is co-ordinated with other services and there are policies and ways of working that shape the services we are providing.
The provision for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disability is based on the SEND Code of Practice 0 to 25.
In Somerset this has been interpreted alongside the school funding reforms of 2013, and is described in the SEND policy for Somerset which contains local authority expectations relating to supporting children and young people with special educational needs.
This provides information about how we use the ‘graduated approach’ to meet the special educational needs of children and young people in schools and how one level of support is built on by the next, as it becomes necessary.
The SEND Newsletter is published weekly and is of interest to anyone involved in SEND including parents, young people, teaching staff, care staff, social workers and health services.
Education Health and Care Plan - Does my child need an EHC Plan?
There isn’t an easy ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question for parents and carers. This is because this is something usually decided through the graduated approach and EHC needs assessment.
Find out more about Education Health and Care Plans on the Somerset Local Offer.
Somerset SENDIAS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support)
Somerset SENDIAS provides information, advice and support about Special Educational Needs and Disability for parent carers, children and young people (up to the age of 25), including Independent Support to help through the Education, Health and Care (EHC) Assessment and Plan process.
The service is free, confidential and impartial.
Support Services for Education (SSE)
A number of SEN Advisory Support Services are provided by Support Services for Education (SSE) that are funded by either the local authority, Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) or from individual schools’ delegated funding.