Area SEND inspection

Suffolk anticipates an Area SEND Inspection will take place towards the start of the new school term. Suffolk was previously inspected in 2016 and revisited in 2019. As an Area inspection it will be  focused on our collective support for children and young people aged 0-25 with EHCPs and SEN Support and will involve education, health, care and community-based services and support.  There is also a specific focus on Alternative Provision.

The inspection will take place under a new Framework and is conducted by Inspectors from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission. Our understanding from other areas is that the inspection is detailed and challenging. It is a graded inspection. Of the areas inspected where reports have been published, 4 have been found to have generally positive experiences and outcomes, 4 have inconsistent experiences and outcomes, 3 have been found to have significant concerns.

Inspectors will track the journeys of 6+ children in a high level of detail and very many more at a summary level or following a key line of enquiry. This will involve visits to a small number of education settings and remote contact with a wide range of practitioners.

At the start of the inspection, Suffolk County Council will be asked to distribute 3 surveys; to Parents/Carers, to children/young people and to practitioners. Your support to promote completion of these surveys, including by SENCOs and other education practitioners will be appreciated to help ensure inspectors get a balanced response. We know there are many challenges to address in supporting young people to consistently have a good experience and good outcomes, but equally significant developments and very substantial support continues to be delivered across the system in a context of rapidly increasing demand.

We will share more information as soon as the Area SEND Inspection is announced.