Click here to return to the Forum Home Page National SEND Forum 9th October 2019 – Summary of Notes

National SEND Forum 9th October 2019 – Summary of Notes

1. OFSTED Lead for SEND Nick Whittaker

Background – Nick Whittaker – 5 years MHI SEND lead one year – Headteacher Special School
Inspections – Local area inspections – OFSTED schools and ITT University
Local area inspections – 5 year strategy force for improvement – intelligent, responsible and focussed (impact)

Local area inspections 151 areas over five yrs – 100 to date in about 50% areas of specific weaknesses. Important to note that systemic weaknesses but also examples of where arrangements are working well.
Where there is a statement of written action there are re-visits to ensure that the local areas testing the progress in addressing the areas of weakness within the statement. Acknowledge in area with no written statement of action still areas for development – if no improvement is made then a statutory notice of action.
The future when local area inspections ends 2021 dialogue is now taking place with stakeholders.
The lack of some clinical medical officers was noted as a difficulty within local authority inspections related to EHCPs
A common areas of weakness effectiveness of joint commissioning SLCN , Physiotherapy etc..Where it is working more effectively it is more responsive – they have a clear picture of the needs of pupils and they evidence the impact and outcomes.

Next report Local area inspections within the chief inspectors annual report
Note SEND report and chief HMI reports coming out – SEND reform

Add handbook section 5 and annex materials – guidance para 314
Links to preparation for life after school education, employment and training.

The quality of the curriculum – intent (ambition translated into a framework)

Education Inspection Framework -(EIF)– takes a strong stance on inclusion –Leadership and Management – Quality of education

Move towards real focus on the substance of education and how leaders assess pupils learning and preparing them for what is come next after school.
Access to a rich and broad curriculum with a depth of knowledge and skills.

Intent – Implementation and Impact –
Intent – framework of aims skills and knowledge – building towards something that is ambitious
Implementation – How translated into practice thorough teaching – expert knowledge and key concepts – checking understanding gaps in knowledge etc..
use and apply knowledge fluency – automaticity – Curriculum sequenced overtime with assessment opportunities and what does it tell us leading to difference s in teaching
Impact – are they building towards something ambitious?

Inspection methodology – Not looking at internal school data but evidence of learning – annotation – video/photos – work scrutiny

Inspecting the curriculum May 2019 document sequence of inspection activities
How decisions are made by curriculum leaders – what this looks like and is offered in your school
Deep dive needs a unit of progression i.e. a subject
Aims and content – how implemented and what does this look like – for PMLD unit of progression might be building towards a different set of outcomes – e.g. communication, social or physical development etc..

OFSTED expect a written statement of intent for distinct group of pupils including decisions about what curriculum is building towards a model of progression.
Leaders to have a dialogue with OFSTED – Deep dives might be areas of subject that are strong or viewed as needing development.
Inspectors will talk about what you are assessing and how but not look at or validate internal data. They will look at progression from EYs through key stages – Post 16 how have they built up over the years and prepare for life after school and adulthood.

Parent/Carers – changes to the online questionnaire – Inspectors might follow up with SENCO conversations with parents and carers – needs identified – involved in decision making in terms of support and how it is working. Feature more prominently within the inspection report.

2. Policy and DFE updates

Major review pupils with SEND released

National audit office report SENDS

Engagement model out in middle of November 2019 – video to support the launch and a training programme

Not going to plan EHCP two years on – Document Link

3. Issues related to Brexit –which may impact upon special schools

  • Availability of staff teaching and support staff
  • Safeguarding of families – increase in hate crimes
  • Benefits delivered on time
  • Resources and equipment
  • Mental health of young people
    School meals etc..

These are notes taken from the meeting so accuracy might vary – the actual minutes will be available on