Skip to main content

CQC and Ofsted Inspection of SEND (Local Offer)

Inspector talking to family

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out a joint inspection of our local area between in June 2019.

Under the Children and Families Act 2014, the government placed new duties on the local health, social and education services providing for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The inspection evaluated how effectively the local area:

  • identified the needs of children and young people with SEND
  • met the needs of these children and young people so that their outcomes and chances of participating fully in society improve

CQC and Ofsted returned to review the work undertaken in January 2022.

Follow up visit January 2022

Commitment and improvement seen during recent SEND visit

Considerable progress has been made in improving services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Peterborough, according to inspectors from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission in a report published in March 2022.

A previous inspection in 2019 had highlighted five areas of significant weakness, with Peterborough City Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group required to produce a written statement to outline how they would address these issues.

Following the joint revisit over three days in January this year, Ofsted and the CQC have agreed that sufficient progress has been made in addressing four of those five weaknesses.

The inspectors spoke with children and young people with SEND, parents and carers, and local authority and NHS officers, before making their judgements.

They explored: leaders’ understanding of the impact of the pandemic on children and young people with SEND and on the system more widely; how they have used that understanding to address areas of weakness previously identified; and collaboration with families to co-produce decisions to best support them and to provide the services they need.

The report states: “Since the inspection of 2019, leaders in both Peterborough City Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have shown great commitment to ensure joint working and planning. Structures and systems have been established that provide stronger governance and oversight of most aspects of the local area’s work.

“The joint SEND strategy and SEND pledge have established common priorities and expectations for all partners in how they work together to achieve better outcomes for children and young people with SEND. The recently launched all-age autism strategy, though in its infancy, is an example of carefully considered joint planning involving parents and carers, children and young people with SEND, a wide range of stakeholders and partners. There is a clear strategic plan and financial commitment for how this will develop over the coming years.”

There was also further praise for the ‘significant improvement in the local area’s arrangements for joint commissioning’ and for the involvement of parents and carers, and children and young people with SEND, in making decisions about what is needed. Positive examples included recommissioned short breaks programme as well as the ‘YOUnited’ service which enables children and young people with SEND to access emotional wellbeing and mental health support.

Leaders were also recognised for creating more robust quality assurance processes to review new education, health and care plans (EHCPs), as well as a significant improvement in completing annual reviews of EHCPs.

However, inspectors added that further work was needed to address the gaps and inconsistencies which remain. For instance, too many annual reviews are not completed in time, while frontline health professionals and some parents still believe a cliff edge exists for some provision for 18 to 25-year-olds.

The full report is available here.

Peterborough Special Educational Needs written statement of action November 2019

Written statement

Between 10 and 14 June 2019, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) conducted a joint inspection of the local area of Peterborough to judge the effectiveness of the area in implementing the disability and special educational needs reforms, as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.

The inspection determined that a written statement of action (an action plan) was required because of areas of weakness in the local area’s practice. 

Peterborough’s written statement of action describes how improvements will be made and by when. 

Ofsted and the CQC are expected to revisit Peterborough within 18 months to see if enough improvement has been made against the areas of weakness. We will provide an update again, once they have revisited.

View a copy of the the full statement here.

Quality Assurance of Education, Health and Care Plans

Improving outcomes for children and young adults with SEND

As part of the Written Statement of Action (WSoA) following the CQC and Ofsted inspection of SEND in Peterborough in 2019, a Quality Assurance (QA) framework for SEND was developed and adopted by the Peterborough SEND partnership. The QA framework is a key element in driving improvement in outcomes for children and young adults with SEND in Peterborough.

The Quality Assurance framework includes processes for auditing Education Health and Care Plans at a variety of stages, including auditing of recently issued EHCPs by a multi-agency panel. Auditing will also take place on Information and advice offered by all services as part of Needs Assessment, on draft EHCPs and Annual reviews.

Audit findings will be collated and reported to the Peterborough SEND Partnership and will inform improvement plans and training activity. More information about audit tools can be found on the SEND Resources page.

Special Education Needs and Disability Ofsted report published August 2019

Ofsted inspection

The results of an Ofsted inspection which reviewed how the city council and its partners are delivering services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has been published.

The inspection took place in June and involved interviews with children and young, parents and carers and officers from Peterborough City Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Inspectors identified a host of strengths in the services provided and also a number of areas for improvement.

Inspectors were encouraged that many of the areas they identified for improvement were already known to leaders and that steps are being taken to address these, although it is too early to see the impact.

You can read more information about the council's response in this News document.