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Local authorities to be inspected on quality of special educational need provision

Local authorities will be inspected specifically on their special educational needs provision from May next year.

For the first time Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will inspect local authorities – as well as nurseries, schools, further education and health services – on how they identify and support children and young people with special educational needs, it was announced today. The two watchdogs are consulting on the proposals until early January.

These inspections will include a closer look at mental health services, language therapy and physiotherapy provision for children with specialist needs.

Evidence

Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national director for education, said the watchdog would look carefully at how local areas identified the needs of young people.

“We will want to see evidence that the children and young people are progressing well, to their next stage of education or employment. Effective local area support is crucial for these children and young people who really need them,” Harford said.

Wide range of information

The two watchdogs are looking for feedback on these proposals:

  • inspectors will evaluate how effectively the local area identifies disabled children and young people and those who have special educational needs
  • inspectors will evaluate how effectively the local area meets the needs and improves the outcomes of disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs
  • a wide range of information will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of local area arrangements, including the views of children and young people, parents and carers, recent inspection reports and visits to a number of local education and health service providers
  • a wide range of ways will be used during the inspection to obtain the views of disabled children and young people, and their parents and carers, including meetings, online questionnaires and social media.

The consultation closes on 4 January 2016.

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