Local Area SEND Inspection
In January this year (2020), Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) undertook a joint inspection of Shropshire’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision to find out how effective the local area’s arrangements are in implementing the reforms set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.
The Act requires professionals from across education, health and social care to work together to effectively identify children and young people with SEND (0 to 25) and provide the support that they need to prepare them for their life as an adult.
In Shropshire, professionals have been working in partnership with children, young people and their families to co-produce the education health and care (EHC) assessment pathway and develop effective services and provision. We are pleased that the inspectors recognised some of the many strengths that Shropshire can be proud of. In particular, the report recognises the achievements of our most vulnerable children and young people with SEND. However, the inspectors also identified that there are a number of challenges that must be overcome in order to secure the improvements that will enable the local area to achieve its aspiration that all children and young people with SEND have and expect the same opportunities in life as other children and young people.
Following the outcome of the inspection we will work with professionals from across education, health and social care, as well as parent carers and young people, to develop a joint statement of action that we will submit to Ofsted in September 2020. This statement of action will address all six of the points identified by the inspectors as being of significant concern and will enable the local area to further build on the work that has already secured positive outcomes for many of our children and young people with SEND.
We will share the Joint Statement of Action via the Local Offer and progress against the Statement will be monitored by the 0-25 Strategic SEND Board. Regular updates on this work will be shared with the inspection team and a return visit to Shropshire by inspectors will be carried out in 12 months time to review activity and the outcomes achieved.
The full report is now available to view, as is the reaction to it from Karen Bradshaw (acting interim chief executive of Shropshire Council and executive director of Childrens Services), and Claire Parker (director of partnerships (Shropshire CCG)):
"We have carefully considered the inspectors’ report and welcome the fact that it identifies a number of strengths and good work that Shropshire Council, the CCG, education settings and other partners are doing to help and support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in Shropshire.
However, we recognise that we haven’t yet got everything right and acknowledge that there are some SEND services and support that require development, and we want to assure parents that professionals across Shropshire are committed to providing the best possible support for our children and young people.
As requested, we will now be providing a written statement of action. This enables us to reflect on the reported areas for development and compile an action plan detailing how we intend to address the weaknesses identified in the report.
We have started to take the next steps to produce a Written Statement of Action (WSoA) and have agreed how we (Shropshire Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)) will work together with parent carers and young people and with all of our partners to address the issues raised in the inspection. You can find out more about this by reading our Statement of Intent.
We want to reassure all parents and carers of children and young people with SEND that we are committed to providing the best possible education and care for their children, and will continue to do so."