SEND Local Area Inspection

The Government define local area services as those that are provided by the Local Authority and the Clinical Commissioning Group. Following the introduction of The Children and Families Act 2014 which set out a framework for reform, the Government commissioned Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) and Care Quality Commission (CQC) to undertake a cycle of Inspections to ensure that Local areas were implementing the reforms in a timely manner and that these were having positive impacts on Children, & Young People with SEND and their families.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) 0-25 years inspection in Swindon took place between 19 November 2018 and 23 November 2018. This inspection deemed that Swindon Local Area had not implemented the SEND Reforms as they were required to do so and there were 8 areas of improvement that were required. Swindon were required to produce a Written Statement of Action (WSOA). This was monitored on a regular basis by the DfE (Department for Education) and National Health Service England (NHSE).

OFSTED and CQC visited Swindon on 11th & 12th October 2021 to assess the progress that the Local Area had made against the 8 areas for improvement. Over the two days Inspectors met with:

  • Senior Leaders across the Local Area
  • Focus groups with representatives from across the partnerships
  • Parents and Carers including an open meeting
  • Young People
  • SENCos
  • Visited Two Schools

The Inspectors were impressed with the progress that the Local Area had made since the 2018 inspection.

Inspectors praise improvements in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) 0-25 services following re-inspection

Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED)/Care Quality Commission (CQC) deemed that Swindon had made sufficient progress in ALL 8 areas of the Written Statement of Action. We believe that we are the only Local Authority in England to achieve this to date.

This outcome means that Swindon will no longer be subject to Department for Education (DFE)/National Health Service England (NHSE) monitoring and we will now go into the regular cycle of Inspections, which are due to be annual from April 2022.

This is an excellent achievement and is a real testament to all those colleagues across the local area who have worked or are currently working within SEND. 

Please read the report: Swindon Borough Council's Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) 0-25 years re-inspection Report 

This is not the end of the SEND Improvement journey very much the opposite and gives us the platform to take this forward and to become an area of excellence for SEND which is our aspiration.

Letter from Minister Quince on the revisit report

The SEND Service have received a letter from Will Quince MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, responding to the Ofsted/CQC Local Area SEND revisit report which was published in November 2021.

What's next?

Swindon’s SEND Improvement journey continues and we are currently working on refreshing the SEND & Inclusion Strategy 2020-2023 delivery plan, this will be published on the Local Area once agreed. This delivery plan will focus on activities across the six priorities within the strategy and will also include areas where inspectors felt that further improvements could be made.