Go back a step

Take part in your SEND local area inspection

Thursday 30th November 2017

Over a five year period, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are carrying out 152 local area inspections.

Inspections began in May 2016 and offer a chance for parents and professionals to give feedback on special education in the area.

What are the SEND local area inspections?

Special educational needs and disability (SEND) local area inspections are joint reviews carried out by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

During an inspection, the local area is assessed on how the different aspects of the SEND reforms are being implemented.

Inspectors will look specifically at:

  • How well the local area identifies and assesses the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • How well it meets the needs of these children and young people so that their outcomes and chances of participating fully in society improve

This could include looking at things like the quality and timeliness of assessments and Education Health and Care (EHC) plans; how effective SEN support is in the area; school, academy and college provision; what the short breaks provision is like; preparation for adulthood, and more.

These are not inspections of individual schools. They are inspections of the local area as a whole (including education, social care and health).

Getting involved in your inspection

The inspection of each area takes place over a five-day period. The inspectors like to hear from parent carers in the area before the inspection so that they can gain some understanding of how parents view the services that they receive and an awareness of any challenges. 

They do this in several ways.

Parents' webinar

The inspectors host an online webinar for parents from the local area being inspected during the week before the inspection takes place.

The webinar is advertised to parent carers of children and young people with SEND aged 0-25, who live in, or access services in, the area only.

It aims to gather as many of views as possible. It gives parents the chance to have their say about their experiences of the new SEND services in their area and to submit comments to the inspection team on how well they think the local area is meeting its new responsibilities.

Face-to-face meetings

Where possible inspectors also like to meet parents at face-to-face meetings during the inspection. The local parent carer forum and support groups may help to coordinate parents to attend these meetings.  

When will my area's inspection take place?

The inspections have been taking place since May 2016. You can see which area inspection reports have been published already on the government's website. This page is kept updated as inspections are completed and reports are published.

Each local area is notified five days before the inspection to give time for the crucial engagement with parents and young people to be set up.

We will share news about upcoming inspections and webinars when we find out about them, through the network of parent carer forums and through our social media channels.