Local Area SEND Inspection
Ofsted re-visit of Shropshire’s SEND services - accelerated progress plan update March 2023
Last November, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out a re-visit of Shropshire’s SEND services. The revisit looked at how effectively we have addressed the areas in the Written Statement of Action.
Improvements were found in three out of six areas under review. However, inspectors found that more work needs to be done
- to improve waiting times for children and young people on the ASD and ADHD diagnostic pathways.
- to improve waiting times for those needing assessment and treatment from the speech and language therapy service
- to improve the quality of Education, Health and Care Plans.
The full report highlighting the inspectors’ findings can be downloaded from the related documents (right)
What we are doing
We are now required to produce and submit an Accelerated Progress Plan which will need to be approved by Department for Education and NHS England. This looks at the:
- actions we are taking to improve
- how we will measure impact; and
- how you will be kept informed on actions and progress.
- What is next?
After the Accelerated Progress Plan is officially approved, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will be returning to Shropshire every 6 months to monitor the progress we have made.
Ofsted and CQC SEND Reinspection 2022
The Shropshire Area SEND Partnership would like to inform parents, carers, children and young people that Ofsted and the CQC completed a SEND Revisit from 21 to 23 November 2022. The purpose of the inspection was to evaluate the progress made since the original inspection in January 2020, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on children, young people and families with SEND in Shropshire.
Inspectors looked at a range of information about the performance of Shropshire, and considered the views of children, young people, parents and carers, education leaders, the parent carer forum and Shropshire’s Information and Advice Support Services, as well as practitioners and workers from Shropshire Council and the NHS.
The report, published Monday 6 February 2023 by Ofsted and the CQC, has found that Shropshire has made sufficient progress in the following three areas:-
- Strategic leadership and planning across the area, including the use of data to accurately commission and plan services. The report recognises that the strategic leadership has strengthened considerably despite the financial pressures, staff turnover and the pandemic.
- The inclusion of health services’ input into the area’s SEND action plan. There is greater clarity of roles and responsibilities across education, health and social care, and leaders work in partnership and have a keen focus on children and young people with SEND.
- The rate of exclusions for children and young people with an EHC plan and the rate of fixed-term exclusions for those receiving SEND support. Leaders’ actions to address the high rate of exclusions and suspensions for children and young people with SEND across Shropshire have been successful. They have led to a significant number of exclusions being prevented since the last inspection.
Further progress is still required to address three outstanding areas. These are:-
- Wait times for children and young people on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnostic pathways
- Wait times for those needing assessment and treatment from the speech and language therapy services
- The quality of input from education, health and care into Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment and planning.
SEND local area inspection and written statement of action (WSoA)
‘Our priority, everybody’s business’
A joint Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted SEND Inspection took place in Shropshire in January 2020. The inspection was a review of the local area, which includes Shropshire Council, the CCG and its commissioned health providers as well as schools, colleges and other education settings, care providers and other key stakeholders. Inspectors looked 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. Inspectors also considered the effectiveness of partners in meeting those needs by providing or commissioning the right services to enable children and young people with SEND to achieve positive outcomes and prepare effectively for adulthood. Most importantly inspectors were keen to review the impact of the reforms on the outcomes and lived experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families and parent carers. They looked at data and information provided by education, health and social care including health and care providers and education settings. They also spoke directly to parent carers, children and young people to find out what they thought of the support and services available to them.
The outcomes of the inspection were published in May 2020. The inspection letter identified many strengths including the positive education outcomes for Shropshire children and young people with an EHCP that 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). Shropshire Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Parent Carer Council (PACC) have worked together to develop this co-produced document that identifies how all partners will work together to address the concerns identified during the inspection, and provide clarity about how we will know that the actions that we are taking are making a difference to improving the outcomes and lived experience of all children and young people with SEND.
There are six priority areas that must be addressed by the WSoA. You can find out more about these priorities and the actions that will be taken to address these here.
Over the last 12 months we have made progress in addressing some of these concerns. We have reviewed our governance structure so that SEND is prioritised at all levels. We have refreshed our SEND strategy (look out for the podcast that will be published later this year). We have started to work on developing the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment which will inform commissioning decisions. Waiting times to access assessment for speech and language have been reduced and we are developing our neuro developmental pathway so that there is clear information and a joined up approach to supporting children and young people who are being considered for an assessment for ASD or ADHD. We are working with our schools to take positive action to reduce the number of children with SEN who are being excluded from school.
A number of workstreams are being established to address each of the priorities and the actions, outcomes and impact of this work will be shared regularly with all stakeholders through updates in newsletters, the local offer, social media and through the publication of an annual report.
If you are a parent carer of a child with SEND or a young person with SEND you can get involved in supporting the local area to implement these changes and/or provide your valued feedback by contacting the Shropshire Local Offer at email@example.com or by contacting the Shropshire Parent Carer Council (PACC) firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be holding a workshop in March to support the development of the neuro developmental pathway. If you would be interested in participating in this event or in any future events and workshops, please contact PACC using the contact information above or alternatively you can contact the Shropshire Local Offer.
We look forward to working with you to make SEND everybody’s business and to ensure that Shropshire children and young people with SEND "have, and expect, the same opportunities in life as other children and young people."