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Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission praise SEND work across the borough

17 January 2019

Councillor Kieran Heakin.

Government inspectors have praised the improvements made to our special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) service following a visit last month.

Between Monday, 3 December 2018 and Wednesday, 5 December 2018 Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission carried out a joint local area special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) revisit following a 2016 inspection where significant weaknesses in the service were identified.

During the visit children and young people with SEND as well as their parents and carers shared their experiences along with school leaders, teachers, and leaders across the partnership including health services and council officers.

Inspectors said sufficient progress had been made in all areas. They praised the way services are co-produced by the council and parents and highlighted how new peer reviews in schools had led to strong improvements and better outcomes for young people. Weekend and evening clinics were also said to be keeping waiting times down for children awaiting a diagnosis.

They also commented on the impressive work done by schools to help avoid exclusions of SEND pupils. This work has seen significant reductions in exclusions in both primary and secondary schools.

Due to the significant progress made, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector (HMCI) has recommended that the formal monitoring visits from the Department for Education (DfE) and NHS England should cease.

'We will continue to work hard in maintaining high standards and striving to be the best we can be'

Councillor Kieran Heakin, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said: "We are delighted that we have been formally recognised by Ofsted for the hard work we have put in to our SEND services and the improvements we have made. We were obviously disappointed in 2016 to have areas of weakness but the important thing is how we have progressed from that and the achievements we have made; we have strong services that are working well for the benefit of young people and families. We will continue to work hard in maintaining high standards and striving to be the best we can be."

'We are pleased that the changes made since the last visit have been recognised and that parents/carers involvement in these changes has been recognised'

Kath Bromfield, chair of the parent carer voice group in Rochdale, said: "We are pleased that the changes made since the last visit have been recognised and that parents/carers involvement in these changes has been recognised. We still have work to do and we are committed to ensuring that parents/carers continue to work with the professionals supporting our children to ensure services are as person centred and enabling as they can be. It is important that we all keep working together to make positive changes for children, young people and their families in the Rochdale Borough."

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