Inspection of local areas’ effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities

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Published on March 16, 2016

Author: Ofstednews

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1. The inspection of local areas effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities Response to the consultation Mary Rayner HMI National Lead for Special Educational Needs and Disability March 2016

2. Background The Department for Education asked Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to inspect local areas on their effectiveness in fulfilling their new duties. Ofsted and CQC have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders to gather the views of parents and carers, pupils and representatives from education, health and social care. National SEND and parent organisations have also been consulted with. SEND consultation March 16

3. The scope of the consultation  On 12 October 2015, a consultation document was published which outlined Ofsted’s and the Care Quality Commission’s proposals for inspecting how effectively local areas fulfil their responsibilities towards children and young people and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.  Two questionnaires were available for the consultation. One was for all respondents: professionals, volunteers, sector organisations, parents and carers and children/young people. A separate questionnaire focused mainly on the first two proposals and was specifically designed for children/young people.  The closing date for the consultation was 4 January 2016. In total there were 1964 respondents: 741 children and young people responded to their questionnaire and there were a total of 1223 responses to the other questionnaire. SEND consultation March 16

4. The scope of the consultation The four proposals: Proposal 1 - Inspectors will evaluate how effectively the local area identifies disabled children and young people and those who have special educational needs. Proposal 2 - Inspectors will evaluate how effectively the local area meets the needs and improves the outcomes of disabled children and young people and those who have special educational needs. Proposal 3 - A wide range of information will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of local area arrangements in identifying disabled children and young people and those who have special educational needs, and in meeting their needs and improving their outcomes. Proposal 4 - A wide range of ways will be used during the inspection to obtain the views of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their parents and carers. SEND consultation March 16

5. Summary findings Proposal 1  Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents support this proposal There was agreement that inspectors should:  evaluate how timely the local area identification of need is  evaluate how accurately and quickly needs are assessed  focus on the quality and usefulness of information provided for assessment and how well parents, families and children and young people are included in the assessment process  focus on how well education services, social care and health agencies work together during identification and assessment  examine how decisions are made and thresholds agreed for statutory assessments leading to a education, health and care plan (EHCP). SEND consultation March 16

6. What we will do in the light of the consultation findings Proposal 1 Inspectors will: evaluate the extent to which local areas communicate effectively so that parents and carers, children and young people understand how needs are identified and how decisions are reached. SEND consultation March 16

7. Summary findings Proposal 2 There was agreement that: inspectors should evaluate how effectively the local area meets the needs and improves the outcomes of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities progress towards the next stages of education or life should be evaluated inspectors should take the views of young people and of their parents /carers into account and consider how satisfied they are that needs are being met and outcomes have improved the support provided throughout the local area and the impact of early diagnosis and intervention should be evaluated. SEND consultation March 16

8. What we will do in the light of the consultation findings Proposal 2 We will: use a wide range of evidence review education, training, health and social care outcomes as well as academic outcomes consider the extent to which the local areas’ processes add value to young people’s progress, taking account of their starting points review the breadth of needs catered for report clearly about how the local area meets the needs of specific groups where this represents either good practice, or is a key priority for improvement. ensure that the review of the local offer looks at the clarity of decisions made about the recognition and the resourcing needs identified, in both EHCPs and at SEN support level. SEND consultation March 16

9. Summary findings Proposal 3 There was agreement for: the range of ways inspectors will gather information and evidence to evaluate the work of the local area the need to examine documentation the use of first hand evidence examining how well schools, other providers and the local area meet their statutory obligations. SEND consultation March 16

10. What we will do in the light of the consultation findings Proposal 3 We will: assess how children and young people’s life chances and opportunities are enhanced by the support and services they receive examine case studies, relevant inspection reports, tribunal data and evidence of outcomes look at how all of the agencies involved work together and the effectiveness of the support provided consider how well those responsible know the context of the area and deal with local issues. SEND consultation March 16

11. Summary findings Proposal 4 There was agreement that:  inspectors should use a wide range of ways to obtain the views of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their parents and carers  inspectors should choose the parents and young people to speak to and the places to visit, taking account of the full age range provided for  children and young people who are receiving SEN support but do not have an EHCP should be included  in addition, children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities in independent schools whose place is funded by the local authority, those being educated at home or those whose parents have refused a school place, should be included  inspectors must have the skills to be able to communicate with parents and young people. SEND consultation March 16

12. What we will do in the light of the consultation findings Proposal 4 We will: give parents and carers every opportunity to express their views in confidence during the inspections. give five days’ notice of the inspection. This will allow additional time for parents and young people to make arrangements to enable them to contribute to the inspection. SEND consultation March 16

13. The inspection of local areas’ effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities Learning from the consultative pilot inspections Mary Rayner HMI National Lead for Special Educational Needs and Disability March 2016

14. Learning from the consultative pilot inspections  There were five pilots. Local areas volunteered to be a pilot.  The areas chosen represented a wide range of different settings, sizes, geography and demographics.  Some areas had been pathfinders. Others were at the early stages of implementing the reforms.  Each pilot included a specific focus and our approach to evidence gathering changed as we learned what worked and what needed to be done differently.  Helpful evaluations from each of the local areas informed developing practice.  Pilots did not result in published findings.  Detailed feedback to the local area was provided at the end of the inspection by the lead inspector.  Learning from the pilots and the consultation responses are helping to inform the development of the new framework, handbook and letter content. SEND consultation March 16

15. Learning from the consultative pilot inspections During the five pilots, inspectors were able to test different approaches to evidence gathering. They found the following: a wide range of data and assessment information collated before the pilot inspections was used well by inspectors to develop the key lines of enquiry a number of further lines of enquiry were based on the needs of children and young people within the area, as identified by the local area it was beneficial to gather the views of leaders of the local area prior to making the visits to providers (schools, colleges and other services). SEND consultation March 16

16. Learning from the consultative pilot inspections  The notification period of two days was too short for parents.  Webinars worked well in some cases but not so well in others.  Inspectors developed their questioning to focus on what the local area knew and how it could be sure that outcomes were improving.  Inspectors checked what the local area believed it was doing well and gathered first hand evidence through case studies, discussions and assessment information about outcomes for young people.  We reviewed young people’s case files during the pilots. Working closely with inspectors from CQC, we were able to review how the local area helped a young person across, education, health and social care. SEND consultation March 16

17. The inspection of local areas’ effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities Next Steps Mary Rayner HMI National Lead for Special Educational Needs and Disability March 2016

18. Next Steps As a result of the consultation and the pilot inspections we will take the following steps. The handbook will provide guidance about how we will inspect, the types of data we will use and the range of information we will seek to gather from the local area during the inspection. We will take account of the needs, provision and outcomes for children in the early years and for older students who are post-16 or post-19. We confirm that we will inspect the local area’s offer for the full age range from 0 to 25 years, as outlined in the Code of Practice. Inspections are planned to start in May 2016. SEND consultation March 16

19. Next Steps  We will inspect how local areas’ commissioning arrangements have developed and how effective they are.  Inspectors will be recruited with a relevant professional background in special educational needs and disability.  We will recruit some inspectors who currently work for local authorities, ensuring that there is no conflict of interest when we deploy them.  Inspectors will be specialists and will have a good understanding of how young people’s special educational needs and/or disabilities can be met.  Inspectors will undergo bespoke training to enable them to evaluate the work of the local area rigorously. SEND consultation March 16

20. Next Steps  When we conduct inspections we will be cognisant of the size and complexity of a local area.  Ofsted and CQC inspectors will prepare for the inspection using a range of information to develop lines of enquiry and identify the particular aspects to focus upon.  We will give five days’ notice of the inspection. This will increase the time given to parents and young people to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the inspection.  Inspectors will choose which groups of parents and carers to speak with and which schools, colleges and other institutions to visit. We recognise that this selection is something that parents are concerned about and confirm that inspectors will make these selections.  Where we need to, we will make arrangements to communicate with young people and adults through sign, symbols or other means. SEND consultation March 16

21. Next Steps  Inspectors will use a range of information available to them, including previous inspection reports of schools and colleges.  They will visit a sample of providers as part of this process but will not inspect those providers, who will remain subject to separate inspection arrangements as now.  Inspectors will take account of any safeguarding concerns that arise and will take appropriate action if necessary.  Our assessment of health and social care services will focus on these services’ contribution and ability to work collaboratively to meet children and young people’s needs. SEND consultation March 16

22. Launching the inspection framework During the spring term of 2016 we will prepare to launch the new Local Area SEND Inspection Framework. We will: deliver workshops to local areas, helping them to understand this new type of inspection train our inspectors so they are ready to inspect under the new framework publish the new Local Area SEND Inspection Framework and Inspection Handbook. We plan to start to inspect in May 2016. SEND consultation March 16

23. The inspection of local areas’ effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities Successful Implementation Mary Rayner HMI National Lead for Special Educational Needs and Disability March 2016

24. Successful implementation  Local areas must work in partnership with children and young people, and their parents and carers to understand their needs so that outcomes can improve.  Early years providers, schools and colleges must also work in partnership with the local authority and social care and health services to identify and meet these needs effectively.  Education, health and social care services must work closely together to jointly commission the support and services their children and young people require, including where these are not located in the same area.  Focusing on the needs of children and young people who have an education, health and care plan cannot be at the expense of providing for those others who require support but who do not need a plan.  Early intervention and timely support can prevent some children and young people from needing an education, health and care plan at a later stage.  Each local authority must set out the support it expects to be available in its local offer and ensure that this information is accessible. SEND consultation March 16

25. Successful implementation  Above all, local areas must know whether their provision is improving outcomes for children and young people or not. They must agree aspirational yet realistic targets for young people and monitor their progress towards achieving them.  The setting and reviewing of goals or targets must involve children and young people and their parents and carers. SEND consultation March 16

26. Proposed inspection arrangements  The fieldwork will include discussions with elected members, key local area officers from health, education and social care, and meetings with leaders of early years settings, schools and colleges, and specialist services.  Visits will be made to a range of providers and services. These visits will not inspect the provision but focus on their understanding of and participation in meeting the areas’ responsibilities.  Inspectors will look at children and young people’s files to inform their inspection findings.  There will be a strong emphasis on gathering the views of young people, and parents and carers, involving: ‒ meetings during visits to early years settings, schools and colleges ‒ meeting with established parent and carer groups ‒ meeting with any reference groups established in the local area ‒ where possible, a webinar for parents and carers during the inspection. SEND consultation March 16

27. Proposed inspection arrangements  All local areas will be inspected over a five year period.  Inspection teams will include an HMI (lead), a CQC inspector and a local area Ofsted Inspector (OI).  Inspectors will review available national data as part of their preparation, including within area inspection outcomes from CQC and Ofsted.  It is expected that local areas will know how effective they are and will be able to demonstrate this.  There will a narrative evaluation report following the inspection. There will not be an overall effectiveness grade.  Local areas may need to produce an action plan following the inspection.  There may be follow-up inspection activity if this is deemed appropriate.  The findings of the area inspection may be considered for other relevant CQC and Ofsted inspection activity. SEND consultation March 16

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