The Shropshire SEND Inspection

Introduction to Local Area SEND Inspections

All Local Areas in England are jointly inspected by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQQ) to monitor the implementation of the SEND reforms and the delivery of positive outcomes for children and young people with SEND. The inspection team focus on the following key areas:

• How effectively the local area identifies children and young people who have SEND.

• How effectively the local area meets the needs and improves the outcomes of children and young people with SEND.

• The effectiveness of the local area on improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND (0 to 25).

Inspectors evaluate how education, health and social care services work together in the best interests of children and young people; how services work together to support transition to adulthood and how effectively the local area considers the views of children and young people who have SEND and their families in planning provision.

Following the inspection, Ofsted and CQC will publish a report in the form of an outcome letter. This report will outline a summary of their findings, including key strengths and areas requiring further development.

The Shropshire inspection

The Shropshire Inspection took place between Monday 27th January and Friday 31st January 2020 and resulted in a Written Statement of Action (WSOA). The inspection identified a number of significant areas of weakness that need addressing locally, these are;

  • Inconsistent strategic leadership and weak strategic planning across the area, most notably in the Clinical Commissioning Group (Health), including the ineffective use of data to accurately commission and plan services
  • The lack of inclusion of health services’ input into the area’s SEND action plan
  • 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
  • The high rate of exclusions for children and young people with an EHC plan and the high rate of repeat fixed-term exclusions for those receiving SEND support.

You can read the full inspection report here

The work on the WSOA will be monitored by advisers from the Department for Education and NHS England and a further inspection will be carried out to look at the progress made, in approximately 12 months from the agreement of the WSOA.The WSOA will be developed during the next 3 months and submitted to Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission by the 25th September 2020.

PACC will be fully involved in developing the WSOA, ensuring that Shropshire parent carers have a voice in addressing the issues identified.There will be parent carers representation at all meetings relating to the WSOA and both the DfE and NHS England will be looking for clear evidence of co-production with SEND families. PACC will continue to work closely with the Shropshire SEND community to listen to their experiences and to ensure that they are aware of how they can influence and inform this work.

Information on the progress on the Shropshire WSOA will be shared on this page and in our News section

As part of involving the Shropshire SEND Community in the WSOA work, PACC has created dedicated pages to the WSOA process on this website and is establishing a number of interest groups that will match the key work areas of the WSOA. These groups are;

  • Strategic and action planning for SEND Services in Shropshire

This group will consider the planning of SEND services across education, health and social care. It will think about how we can ensure that these services are co-produced with the SEND Community and how joint working between education, health and social care can be promoted.It will particularly look at how co-production will happen in the health sector and how health services will support the Shropshire SEND community.  You can find out more about this group here

  • Developing Therapy Services to support CYP with SEND

This group will initially look at making improvements to the Shropshire Speech and Language Service, in response to the issues with this service identified in the Shropshire SEND inspection. There will be an opportunity to review the service specification and to look at how waiting times for the service can be reduced. It is recognised however that to ensure that Shropshire children and young people with SEND achieve good outcomes, we need an effective therapy support offer, across all therapy services. Therefore, the development of all local therapy services will be looked at and this work will link closely with the Neurodevelopmental Pathway group.  You can find out more about this group here

  • Developing a Neurodevelopmental Pathway for Shropshire

The inspection recognised that the current assessment process for Autism and ADHD in Shropshire is not effective or sustainable.This group will contribute to reviewing the existing process and to developing a new sustainable model. It has been recognised that to ensure that this service also needs to provide pre and post diagnostic support and so there will also be a focus on developing these elements too. You can find out more about this group here

  • Improving the quality of EHCPs

The inspection identified some inconsistencies in the quality of Education Health and Care plans, especially those issued before the start of 2019. Work has been done to address this but, there is still work to do on embedding a wider understanding amongst all services of how they can contribute to EHCP’s.This is especially true in health services and this work will focus on improving health practitioners understanding of their role in the EHCP process.  You can find out more about this group here

  • Improving Inclusion in Shropshire

It was highlighted in the inspection report that Shropshire’s rates of exclusion for children and young people with an EHC plan in primary, secondary and special schools are significantly above the national averages. In addition, the rates of repeat fixed-term exclusion for children and young people receiving SEND support significantly increased in 2018/19. This group consider the reasons for this and what can be done to reduce the rate of exclusions. You can find out more about this group here

  • Preparation For Adulthood

While Preparation for Adulthood was not identified as a significant weakness by the inspection, there were some concerns raised about this area in the report and the decision has been made to include PFA in the WSOA work.This group will focus on providing input to developing the PFA pathway in Shropshire.  You can find out more about this group here

PACC is looking to develop a list of parent carers who are interested in being involved in the above discussions.  There will be opportunities to do this on-line, using digital platforms such as Zoom or Team and in face to face discussions where social distancing requirements can be met. There will also be opportunities for those who are interested, for parent carers to participate in meeting with Shropshire Council and Shropshire CCG, as parent carer representatives. If you are interested to contributing to this work please email us at enquiries@paccshropshire.org.uk