Shropshire Council

Local area SEND inspection

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) checks the quality of education services in educational settings in England. It also works with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to check the quality of health and social care services. Together Ofsted and CQC look at services in local areas that support children and young people with SEND; this is called a local area SEND inspection. All local authorities will have a full local offer SEND inspection at least once every five years.

Shropshire had a local area SEND inspection in January 2020. Inspectors visited between 27 and 31 January 2020 to look at how effective all partners are in identifying the special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) of children and young people aged 0 up to 25, as well as any health and care needs that relate to their special educational needs. Following the inspection they sent a local area SEND inspection report.

The report identified many strengths, including the positive education outcomes for Shropshire children and young people with an EHCP who attend mainstream schools and colleges; the pathways that are in place to identify and meet the needs of younger children; some of the services that are provided to children and families such as portage, sensory inclusion service, the severe speech and language impaired children’s team and community children’s nurses. They also recognised the effectiveness of the support provided by all agencies at key transition points and the range of opportunities available to develop independence and life skills. 

However, there were a number of concerns that were identified by the inspection and, as a result of these findings, the chief inspector determined that the local area was required to produce a written statement of action (WSoA) which had six priority areas to improve.

Ofsted and the CQC revisited Shropshire between 21 and 23 November 2022 to decide whether sufficient progress had been made in addressing each of the six priority areas, and sent a local area SEND revisit inspection report. The report showed that improvements had been made in three out of the six areas under review. There were three areas identified as still needing further improvement:

  • Significant waiting times for large numbers of children and young people on the ASD and ADHD diagnostic pathways
  • Significant waiting times for those needing assessment and treatment from the speech and language therapy service
  • Inconsistency in the quality of input from education, health and care into EHC assessment and planning

We've produced an 'accelerated progress plan' which has been developed by the SEND partnership and approved by the Department for Education to show what actions we're taking to improve the three priority areas that still require improvement.

The Shropshire SEND Area Partnership Accelerated Progress Plan six-month review took place in October 2023. The document that was submitted to accompany this review provides details on progress in each of the areas of action.

Shropshire Council and NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are committed to working in partnership with the SEND community and PACC to ensure that co-production happens at all levels, so that decision making is informed and shaped by experience and knowledge of SEND families.