SEND Local Area Inspection

Three inspectors will be in the local area (Oxfordshire) for one  week.

There will be five days notice of their visit and the inspection team will consist of an HMI inspector (lead), a CQC inspector and a local authority Ofsted inspector. Two days will be spent in County Hall, two days with providers, and one day will be set aside for feedback.

This video from an Ofsted Inspector gives an overview of the new inspection.


Inspectors will look at how Oxfordshire is

  • Identifying needs

How effectively the local area identifies disabled children and young people and those who have special educational needs.

  • Meeting needs and improving outcomes

How effectively the local area meets the needs and improves the outcomes of disabled children and young people and those who have special educational needs.

  • Evidencing the local area impact

Evidencing how all partners contribute to improving outcomes. Evidence how the area is improving outcomes as a whole- beyond attainment data , include softer measures.

Inspectors will decide to visit

A range of providers and services chosen by inspectors including early years settings, schools, special schools, pupil referrals units and post 16 colleges.

These visits will not inspect the provision but focus on their understanding of and participation in meeting the areas’ responsibilities.

Inspectors will look at children and young peoples’ files to contribute to their evaluations.

Inspectors will want to meet with children, parents, teachers, leaders and governors.

What does this mean for us?

In a pilot inspection three hour meetings were arranged with

  • three early years providers
  • three primary schools
  • two secondary schools
  • two pupil referral units / special schools
  • two post-16 establishments.

The inspectors began their visits by meeting children and young people with SEND and parents / carers of children and young people with SEND.

They also had discussions with senior leaders and governors about their participation in the area’s fulfilment of its Code of Practice responsibilities.

What inspectors are interested in?

Inspectors will review settings/school/college websites before they arrive to see key information about SEND and links to the local offer. For schools this will include the SEN Information report.

Ask what is different since the reforms were introduced in September 2014?

Have a strong focus on SEN support , early identification and outcomes achieved.

Inspectors reviewed young people’s outcomes during the pilots; they were able to review how the local area helped a young person across, education, health and social care and tracked specific children through the health and education system.

Inspectors want to hear directly from young people and parents about impact.

What should we do to prepare?

Ensure your website includes SEND information and links to the local offer.

Ensure that the SEN Information Report has been updated annually.

Ensure governors, leaders and SENCOS are aware of what the inspection will entail.

Review how data on outcomes is captured and shared with partners.

Think about how you can ensure that children and parents are at the centre of the Ofsted visit if they decide to visit your setting as part of  the inspection process.

Find more detailed information in the Ofsted  SEND Inspection Framework once published in April 2016, Oxfordshire Schools Insite and OCC public website (Early Years and FE colleges webpages).