Somerset’s Local Area Inspection

From Monday 09 March to Friday 13 March 2020, OFSTED and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out jointly an inspection of Somerset County Council. The inspection evaluated how effectively the local area:

  • identifies children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • assesses and meets the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • improves outcomes for children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.

As a result of the findings of this inspection the inspectors determined that a Written Statement of Action is required because of significant
areas of weakness in the local area’s practice. They also determined that the
local authority and the area’s clinical commissioning group are jointly responsible for
submitting the written statement to Ofsted.

The local area is required to produce and submit a Written Statement of Action to
Ofsted that explains how the local area will tackle the following areas of significant
weakness:

  • the lack of focus on the experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families when formulating strategies to improve the area
  • the lack of leadership capacity across area services
  • weak partnership working between services across education, health and care
  • the ineffective assessment pathway for autistic spectrum conditions
  • poor assessment and meeting of need caused by inconsistent practice leading
  • to poor outcomes for children and young people with SEND
  • the wide variances in the quality of education, health and care plans caused by weaknesses in joint working
  • poor timeliness of the assessment, writing and publication of education, health and care plans
  • poor joint commissioning arrangements that limit leaders’ ability to meet area needs, improve outcomes and achieve cost efficiencies
  • too many children and young people not accessing education because of the disproportionate use of exclusion and poor inclusive practices across the area.

You can read the full report here.