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Initial report published about SEND services during the covid-19 pandemic following Ofsted and CQC visits to local authorities | Community Directory

Initial report published about SEND services during the covid-19 pandemic following Ofsted and CQC visits to local authorities

A report has been published looking into the support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An initial report has been published by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) looking into the support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Suffolk was visited by Ofsted and the CQC in October, as one of eighteen local authorities taking part in the study. The purpose of the visits are for Ofsted and the CQC to gather evidence to inform future national improvements for children and young people with SEND across Education, Health and Care. This was not an inspection of Suffolk County Council or Health Services.

The overall aim of these visits was to:

  • Support the local area to understand the impact of the pandemic on children and young people with SEND and their families.
  • Find out what has worked well for children and young people during this time, what the challenges have been and what lessons have been learned.
  • Work with the local area to identify opportunities for improvement that address the challenges faced by children and young people with SEND.
  • Highlight best practice case studies and share insights nationally to promote whole system learning.

The voices of children, young people and families were gathered through case studies and via a survey. Ofsted and the CQC also spoke to the education health and care professionals who work with young people with SEND.

Mary Evans Cabinet Member for Children’s Services Education and Skills said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about challenges for everyone but for children and young people with SEND it has been a particularly difficult time.

“SCC’s SEND team and colleagues from across the system including Suffolk Parent Carer Network have worked tirelessly to support families during this uncertain time and I would like to thank them for their hard work.

“We were pleased to take part in the visit and share what we have learnt over this time. The findings of the report will help us to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people with SEND across the UK and identify opportunities for improvement.”

Suffolk Parent Carer Network said:

“We were pleased to be able to share the experiences of families during the Ofsted and CQC visit which included the results of our recent survey on lockdown and the return to school. Whilst this was not an inspection and focused mainly on the individual case studies, the team still welcomed our feedback. The themes from the contacts we have had with over 2,500 children, young people and families during the pandemic have enabled additional support services to be commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Groups as well as providing challenge to services to take additional actions to ensure families are able to contact services, are kept informed and can access support across education, health and care during the pandemic.”

Ofsted and the CQC provided the local area with a summary letter, the letter summarises the visit and provides more detail on the specific information shared with the visiting team, it reflects the Suffolk response during the pandemic. Read Area SEND interim visit - Suffolk letter here (PDF, 148KB).

Suffolk was part of the first six visits which took place in October. Read the overall report from the first six areas visited here.

A national report will be published in spring 2021, reporting the learning from visits across all eighteen areas.