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An Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of special, educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services has begun in North Tyneside.

The inspection will assess both North Tyneside Council and its partners to see how effectively they fulfil their responsibilities for children and young people (from birth to 25) with SEND. In North Tyneside, these are provided by professionals in education, health and social care, as well as nurseries, schools or colleges and specialist therapists.

Young people with SEND may need to use assistive technologies at their nursery, school, college, university, or workplace. This could be to enable them to carry out work effectively, facilitate independence, or allow them to communicate with their peers. Examples of devices used include augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, specialist-powered wheelchairs, and standing aids.

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Over the course of the five-day inspection, which commenced on 15th November 2021, inspectors will meet managers and leaders from the area’s education, health and social care services and look at young people’s case files.

They will review the support provided by the local area for some individual children and young people to better understand how well services meet their responsibilities overall. They will also spend time visiting early years settings, schools, further education providers and specialist services.

The views of children and young people with SEND, and the views of their parents and carers, will be gathered during visits to a number of early years settings, schools, colleges and specialist services. These views are critical to the inspection process, North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says.

During the inspection, Ofsted and CQC inspectors will speak to as many children and young people and their parents and carers as possible.

There are several ways in which children, young people, parents and carers can engage with the inspection process and contribute their views:

  1. As part of the inspection, Ofsted and the CQC is inviting all parents and carers of children and young people with SEND to participate in a survey about their experiences of the local system. It’s open until 16th November at 11.59pm. The survey can be found here
  2. Alternatively, views can be submitted to Lasend.support@ofsted.gov.uk
  3. The North Tyneside Parent Forum will also be holding two sessions online for parents/carers to meet with the inspector/s and share their views. Both sessions will take place on Tuesday 16th November, 12-1pm and 6.30pm-7.30pm. To take part, email jo@ntpcf.co.uk. Places are limited to 10 per session and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

The UK Government has committed £280 million to improve accessibility in schools for children and young people with SEND for the financial year 2021-2022. Councils are allocated the funding to create new places in schools, academies, colleges and early years settings.

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