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Watchdog Inspection Finds Grave Weaknesses in SEND Practice in Sheffield

Watchdog Inspection Finds Grave Weaknesses in SEND Practice in Sheffield

Between 12 November 2018 and 16 November 2018, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted a joint inspection of the local area of Sheffield to judge the effectiveness of the area in implementing the disability and special educational needs reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.

The inspection and subsequent report discovered significant areas of weakness in the Special Educational Needs (SEND) practice in Sheffield.

The issues found were so grave that a written statement of action will now need to be provided to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI).

6 Notable Findings

1. The 2014 disability and special educational needs reforms have not been implemented consistently or swiftly enough in Sheffield.

2. High levels of fixed-term and permanent exclusions result in children and young people with SEND not achieving as well as they should.

3. Weaknesses in multi-agency transition arrangements lead to children and young people not being supported well enough by social care and health and education professionals at crucially important points in their lives.

4. Too many children and young people do not have their needs assessed accurately or in a timely way.

5. Those who make decisions about how funding is spent do not use the information they have to prioritise the things that will make the biggest difference to children and young people with SEND aged zero to 25 years.

6. Many parents and carers express frustration with the identification of their children’s special educational needs and find local systems difficult and unhelpful. Many do not feel their views are valued or heard.

The letter detailing all of the inspection’s findings can be viewed in full here.

Do you have experience of Special Educational Needs Services in Sheffield? What do you think of the inspections findings? Have your say in the comments section below, on Twitter or on the Disability Sheffield Facebook page.


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