SEND inspection by Ofsted and Care Quality Commission

In February 2020, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission inspected council and NHS services for children and young people with SEND. They were looking to see how well the SEND reforms had been put in place.

A report has been published of the inspection.

The key points from the report are:

  • The main findings of the report identified many strengths, such as the way partners work together to identify and meet the needs of children and their families, the value parents put on the county’s specialist units and special schools, and the range of health and leisure services available to young people with SEND.
  • There were two areas for improvement: the way education and health care (EHC) plans are assessed, planned and monitored, and that a clearly defined joint commissioning strategy needed to be drawn up, along with implementation of a redeveloped neurodevelopmental pathway. Work on this is already underway.

Like most areas in the country, we’ve been asked to produce an action plan to outline how we’ll make these further improvements. Along with our partners, the Written Statement of Action has been agreed by Ofsted and CQC, and our progress will be monitored by the Department for Education as we develop the plan.

The SEND and Inclusion Strategy, which is the strategy that oversees the work of all partners across Leicestershire involved in working with children and young people with SEND, can be found on our SEND strategic developments page.

Following the publication of the report, we have already met with colleagues from the Department for Education and discussed our approach to responding to the inspection findings with them. Their feedback was positive on how we plan to produce the Written Statement of Action. These reviews will take place regularly throughout the development of the plan.


We work very hard to support our children and young people with SEND and the inspectors recognised that we have made a determined effort to implement disability and special educational needs reforms that were introduced back in 2014.

As with most areas in the country, we've been asked to produce an action plan to outline how we'll make further improvements.

While we have made headway in some areas, we do acknowledge that changes and developments still need to be made and we will carefully consider the feedback that has been given to us. The inspection was an opportunity for us to focus on improvements, and this has already started.

Our action plan will be robust: improving the way we plan, monitor and deliver education and health care plans will be a real focus. SEND is a real priority for us. This is reflected in our SEND Strategy which includes our ambitious £30m plans to build new schools and specialist units in the county.

Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for children and families

The NHS is committed to improving the lives of local children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.  Working with the local authority, we will ensure that improvements are made which support the physical and emotional wellbeing of local children and their families.  We will also build on the good practice highlighted in the report and engage closely with families ensuring their experiences influence the way we provide services and better meet their needs.

Caroline Trevithick, Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Performance, LLR CCGs

We welcome this report from Ofsted and the CQC. It highlights two important areas for improvement as well capturing other issues raised by parents and carers in Leicestershire.

The report highlights that council and NHS services have made a real effort since 2016 to bring about the government’s SEND reforms effectively. As representatives of parents and carers in the county – we’ve been very closely involved, which has been recognised by inspectors as a strength.

We have confidence in the leadership of SEND services and know that they’ll work together with us to make things better. We look forward to continuing to represent parent carers, ensuring our young people are at the heart of the improvement plans.

Anna Bromley, Chair of the Parent Carer Forum in Leicestershire