The OFSTED/CQC SEND revisit outcome

The OFSTED/CQC SEND revisit took place in May 2022 and Inspectors were focused on measuring progress against the three Areas of Significant Weakness highlighted in the original SEND Inspection in October 2019:

  • Potential Over-Identification of Moderate Learning Difficulties
  • Quality of Education, Health and Care Plans
  • Joint Commissioning

Following the revisit, Inspectors have issued their Revisit Outcome letter. They have concluded that the Local Area (which includes Essex County Council and the various NHS Integrated Care Systems (previously Clinical Commissioning Groups) have made sufficient progress against these 3 specific areas.

Clare Kershaw – ECC’s Director of Education has written a letter to Essex parent/carers and other stakeholders in response to the outcome of the revisit – you can read that here.

To read our statement on the outcome of the revisit please click here: Essex Family Forum Revisit Outcome Statement

What happened during the OFSTED/CQC revisit?

We feel we accurately represented the lived experiences of SEND families in Essex.  Thanks to the feedback and experiences you regularly share with us, we were able to uploaded a significant amount of evidence prior to the revisit.  This included the reports from our surveys since 2019 (Family Impact Surveys 2020 and 2022, Neurodevelopment Survey, Equipment Survey), our Graffiti Wall reports and our Impact Statement.   

During the revisit we presented our own overview of progress during the Opening Meeting, attended every Focus Group representing your views, the daily Keeping in Touch meeting and the Closing Meeting.  As the Parent Carer Forum, we had our own meeting with Inspectors, attended by our two Strategic Development Co-ordinators and our Chair and Vice-Chair.

We would like to say thank you to all the families that responded to the OFSTED survey and our own Family Champion volunteers who spoke to inspectors virtually.

We’d also like to thank the support groups whose views contributed to our Impact Statement and who also met with inspectors and were able to share the experiences of the families they support.

OFSTED/CQC Inspection 2019

For information on the inspection principles, guidance and the main judgements that inspectors make when inspecting area SEND – Click here

To view the inspector’s report – click here

To view Essex Family Forum’s statement on the Inspector’s Report – click here

To view the full Written Statement of Action – click here

Essex Family Forum Statement on the Essex Local Area Written Statement of Action in relation to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Following the Local Area OFSTED/CQC SEND Inspection which took place between 30th September and 4th October 2019, the Inspectors produced their Report (published on 23rd December 2019) which highlighted three areas of significant weakness. These weaknesses were:

1) The potential over-identification of children and young people with Moderate Learning Difficulties and the need to understand the reasons behind this and the accuracy of the identification figures.

2) The quality of EHC Plans – with particular concern around securing the right advice and providing the right information within the plans to enable high-quality outcomes for children and young people. This led to Inspectors concluding that the strategic oversight of plans is not effective.

3) There is poor joint commissioning of services between the Local Authority and their health colleagues in the various NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

After the report was published, the Local Authority (LA) and the CCGs had to produce a “Written Statement of Action” to outline how they intend to address these weaknesses and the timescales within which they will do so. This Action Plan has now been submitted to and approved by the Inspectors. The LA and the CCGs will be subject to regular monitoring visits from the Department for Education and NHS England, and a re-inspection would normally take place in 18 months’ time. However, the current COVID-19 situation will have a sizeable impact on the timescales, not least because the LA’s Education & Social Care teams and NHS staff are having to divert their central focus on managing the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable families (which includes those families with children who have Special Educational Needs & Disabilities.)

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