The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) has announced that it is to launch a consultation into provisions for children and young people who were either disabled or who have special educational needs.
15.4 per cent of pupils in schools in England have identified special educational needs (equating to over 1.3 million pupils).
Encouragingly, this has been decreasing since 2010, and has fallen by 2.5 percentage points since last year. And now Ofsted is attempting to ensure that the issue is addressed further still.
As this process unfolds, the government-appointed organisation is seeking contributions from healthcare professionals.
Ofsted is launching a consultation on the joint inspection of local areas’ effectiveness in dealing with this key issue.
Healthcare professionals that wish to share their particular viewpoint on the overarching inspection program – which is carried out in collaboration with the Care Quality Commission – have until 4th January, 2016 to submit any information.
The new program launched by Ofsted with the operation of the Care Quality Commission is intended to respond to new legal duties relating to local areas.
This will ensure that people can work together in order to meet the needs of a group that is often considered to be vulnerable.
And the program is due to initiate in May next year.
As a central pillar of the process, Ofsted is collecting, collating and considering the views of children and young people who either have special educational needs or who are disabled.
And with the views of healthcare professionals also being an insult, it is expected that the program will be both representative and relevant when it is finally launched.
Education is, of course, of critical importance to young people, and this can be doubly so for those with special educational needs.
Young people and the children of this description often face huge challenges in education, and one of the biggest barriers can be understanding precisely what is meant by this term.
Indeed, the definition of special educational needs is extremely wide; from dyslexia to profound learning and physical disabilities.
Millions such children exist across England, and it is hoped that the program will have a massively beneficial effect on many young people.
The intention is to significantly improve the services that such children rely on by tapping into information provided by people in the best position to understand and assess these services
At present, the inspection cycle is intended to span a 5-year period, but the reporting of findings will take place on an annual basis.
The work being carried out as a part of this collaboration is in addition to another specialist Care Quality Commission inspection program.
Already the Care Quality Commission examines ‘looked after children and safeguarding’, under the umbrella of the CLAS inspection.
For further information about how to take part in the consultation, please visit gov.uk.