Area SEND Inspection

January 2024:

Ofsted and CQC work together to inspect education, health and care services for children and young people with SEND in a local area, to make sure they are effective.

These Area SEND inspections follow a new framework introduced from January 2023 and last 3 weeks. The purpose of the inspection is to undertake an evaluation of effectiveness of the local area partnership’s arrangements for children and young people with SEND. Where appropriate, the inspection team will recommend what the local area partnership should do to improve the arrangements.

In this short video, Ofsted and CQC explain the inspection process and how parents and carers can help them understand what it is like to be a child or young person with SEND in your local area.

The relevant framework is available at the GOV.UK website.

June 2023

DfE SEND and NHS England officials met with our education and health leaders, parent representatives and partners on 28 April 2023 to review the progress made against our Accelerated Progress Plan (APP) as part of the 6-monthly review process. 

They concluded that we have demonstrated clear and sustained progress showing improved communication, co-production and strength of relationships between partners, with positive feedback given by all participants. The outcome of the meeting is that the DfE agree for the accelerated progress plan (APP) to be ended. 

Read the full letter here.

July 2020

In May, Ofsted and CQC published the findings of their February revisit of services in South Gloucestershire for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

The letter noted progress that has been made since the original inspection in 2017, and highlighted further work needed to improve services for young people with SEND.

Following a request from the Department for Education, we are now pleased to publish our Accelerated Progress Plan (APP), that sets out how we will continue to address the outstanding areas  to ensure that all aspects of our arrangements for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities are of a good standard. The APP details:

  • the actions we are taking to respond to the outstanding concerns;

  • the governance and accountability that will support the next phase of improvement;

  • the ways in which we will measure the progress in delivering the improvements across the next 12 months.

The Council and Partners are committed to working closely with young people and their families, South Glos Parent Carers, the Parent and Carer Forum for South Gloucestershire, to provide highly effective services responsive to the needs of children and young people across the Local Area.

May 2020

Ofsted have published their findings following a revisit of services in South Gloucestershire for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), run by the council and the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (BNSSGICB).

Ofsted’s letter sets out the progress we have made and where more work is still required.

Between 10 and 12 February 2020, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revisited the area of South Gloucestershire to decide whether sufficient progress has been made in addressing each of the significant weaknesses detailed in the written statement of action (WSOA) issued on 18 December 2017.

They found that improved leadership, training and collaboration across the sector, as well as better links with service providers and the parents and carers of young people, means that we have made sufficient progress to address issues in six of the areas identified as being ‘significant weaknesses’ in their last inspection. More work is required to meet the standards required to support these young people and their families in two areas, which we agree is a fair reflection of the current position.

Read the full press release here, including the response from South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) and next steps.

March 2020

A huge thank you to all the parents and carers who contributed their views to the Ofsted and CQC re-visit of SEND services in South Gloucestershire.

The revisit from the Ofsted/CQC team ended on Wednesday 12 February. Over 250 responses were received by the inspectors from parents and carers via the online survey. As part of the re-visit, the inspectors shared their analysis of the survey findings with us as well as the main points raised at the open meeting they held with over 30 parents and carers on 10 February.

Ofsted/CQC will publish their findings towards the end of March 2020. We will share the findings with you then.  

We will continue to focus our energy and efforts to help ensure high aspirations, improved outcomes and inclusion for all children and young people with SEND in South Gloucestershire.  

For details of our SEND local offer in South Gloucestershire visit

January 2020

Ofsted and CQC to re-visit SEND services in South Gloucestershire from Monday 10 February. For more information please visit

Between 6 November 2017 and 10 November 2017, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted a joint inspection of the South Gloucestershire local area to judge its effectiveness in implementing the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.

As a result of the findings of the area inspection findings, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) determined that a Written Statement of Action is required to address eight areas of significant weakness in the local area’s practice.

The written statement of action is updated on progress through monitoring on a regular basis our recent WSOA monitoring is dated January 2020.  

South Gloucestershire Council and the NHS South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) are jointly responsible for submitting the written statement which has been produced in conjunction with South Gloucestershire Parent Carers Forum. 

May 2018 

We have written to parents and carers to explain that the statement of action and SEND strategy have been published as well as an update on recent developments. We have also shared a document about South Gloucestershire Council’s 0-25 service structure changes. 

December 2017

The SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) inspection report by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has come back to us earlier than expected. Therefore, following our letter in November 2017 thanking everyone for contributing to the inspection, the council and local Clinical Commissioning Group have published it today (Wednesday 20 December 2017).

We have also jointly issued a letter to all parents and carers of children with SEND to update everyone on the findings of the inspection and on the progress of the work being carried out locally.

November 2017

A team of inspectors looked at how effectively services provided by the council, education settings and the NHS identify and meet the needs of children and young people with SEND, and how their outcomes can be improved.

The main findings of the statutory inspection highlight strengths and areas where improvements need to be made. The council and NHS partners at the ICB will now develop a Written Statement of Action to address the main findings of the report, which has to be published within 70 days.

This inspection provides an overall assessment of how the council, education and health services are providing special educational needs and disability services across South Gloucestershire. It is separate to the Ofsted inspection of children’s services which was published in February this year and as such does not provide a rating of good, requires improvement or inadequate.