Inspect the Uninspected

Since May 2016 Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have been inspecting special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services across England.

What are these inspections?

Ofsted and the CQC are looking at how effectively local areas handle their responsibilities for disabled children and young people and how well they identify and meet their needs.

All local areas in England will be inspected within a five year period, which started in May 2016. Inspectors will look at a wide range of services for children with special educational needs and disabilities across a number of different educational and health settings. Each inspection lasts 5 days and 5 days’ notice will be given.


During the inspection period, inspectors will:

  • Meet managers from education, health and social care

  • Visit schools and colleges

  • Visit hospitals and health providers in the area

  • Meet children, young people, parents and carers

For more detailed information on the inspections and how you can get involved, read our factsheet.


Which areas have been inspected so far?

Many local areas have already been inspected. You can read the outcome report letters on the Ofsted website.


How can I find out about inspections?

If you or your child has a special educational need or disability, you should receive information about the inspection from your local council.

We will also contact our members in the local area as soon as we know about an inspection.  


Why are we concerned about the inspections?

We welcome the decision to inspect these services but we still have a few concerns:

  • Inspections are not graded like hospitals or schools, i.e. outstanding or good
  • The quality of support provided by Teachers of the Deaf is not being inspected 
  • Inspectors look at SEND overall and not the specific needs of each group 
  • There is no guarantee that parents and young people contacted during inspections will know about deafness
  • Webinars are not currently accessible for all people. A survey open for the duration of the inspection would be preferable and more far reaching. 
  • The inspections will end after five years and there is no assurance that services will be inspected again.



What about children and young people?

We want children and young people to speak to inspectors about their experiences and what they think of local services.

We have created a video for children and young people to find out more about how to get involved.