SEND Local Area Inspection

Ofsted is best known for inspecting places where young people go to school or college to make sure they are getting the best possible education. However, Ofsted does not just inspect schools and colleges. They are now working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to find out how well the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities are being met in the area where they live. The CQC is like Ofsted but looks at health services and social care, rather than schools and colleges.

Following the implementation of the SEND Reforms in September 2015, the government has asked Ofsted and the CQC to find out how well the new law is working and to say what more needs to be done in local areas. Ofsted and CQC inspectors will visit local areas to do this and will look at how good the local area is at:

  • identifying children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • assessing and meeting the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • improving outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities

The SEND inspections started in May 2016 and areas can expect an inspection interval of up to 5 years. We do not yet know when Devon will be inspected but it is essential that we ensure that parents and carers, children and young people and our partners are aware of the proposed inspection process.


What are we doing to prepare for this?

The CQC and Ofsted have now published the framework and handbook for the inspection process. We have completed a self-evaluation against the SEND Code of Practice that sets out how we feel we are meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND in Devon. This has been developed by a wide range of individuals across local organisations, including parents and carers. There are always areas we can improve on and we have set these out in an action plan.

We have produced a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which we will review and update on an ongoing basis.

This video from Ofsted may help you to better understand what the inspection is about.


SEND update from Chief Officer Children, Jo Olsson

Local Area SEND Inspection Framework

SEND Code of Practice  

SEND Inspection Handbook

SEND: a guide for parents

SEND Impact Assessment