Watchdog announces SEND interim visits to start in autumn

The CQC and Ofsted have announced they will be resuming interim visits from the autumn, to see how local areas are fulfilling their responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND).

During the COVID-19 pandemic these inspections have been suspended, but the watchdogs said it is vital that these children and young people, whose wellbeing and care may have also been significantly affected by the disruption to services caused by the outbreak, continue to receive support.

The interim visits will aim to support local areas to prioritise and meet the needs of children and young people with SEND in the context of the pandemic and enable learning for all local areas, government and stakeholders on how best to rebuild a better SEND system in future through a series of national reports.

The CQC and Ofsted have also been commissioned by the Department for Education, with the support of  the Department of Health and Social Care, to develop a new area SEND inspection framework to launch after the existing inspection cycle has finished.

‘Now more than ever when services are likely to be disrupted by COVID-19, it is vital that we do not lose sight of the importance of making sure children and young people with special educational needs get the integrated support that they need,’ said the CQC’s chief inspector of primary medical services and integrated care, Rosie Benneyworth.

‘While inspection activity has been suspended, we need to support local areas to fulfil their responsibilities for children and young people with SEND, and their families.

‘As a responsive regulator, we also need to make sure that we continue to learn and adapt our approach so that we can make sure people get the high quality, safe care that they deserve. We will be working with Ofsted to develop the new inspection framework for future SEND inspections and making sure that the voices and experience of children and young people with SEND, and their families, are at the heart of this.’

Photo Credit – Mohamed_hassan (Pixabay)

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