Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors will be coming to Manchester next week to assess how effective our local area is at identifying and meeting the needs of children & young people who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

The inspection will take place over a five-day period commencing on Monday 22nd November until Friday 26th November. The inspection team will include:

  • a Her Majesty’s Inspector with enhanced specialism in SEND
  • a CQC specialist children’s services inspector
  • an Ofsted inspector (usually a serving practitioner in another local authority) specially recruited and trained in SEND issues

As well as speaking to service leads and practitioners in Education, Health and Social Care, inspectors will want to hear the views and experiences of Manchester families with children aged 0-25 with SEND.

We strongly encourage you to share your views and get involved so that the inspectors will have a better understanding of how well Manchester meets its overall responsibilities around SEND.

(1) Answer the Parents and Carers Views survey.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted recently published a survey looking at our experiences of SEND provision in Manchester across Education, Health and Social Care, including access to advice & support services such as SEND Information, Advice and Support (SENDIAS), Short Breaks and the Local Offer.

The survey takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete, depending on how long your answers are to the free text boxes.


You can also share your experiences by emailing the inspectors at LASEND.support@ofsted.gov.uk.

(2) Join the parents & carers focus groups.

We recently sent out an invitation for parents and carers to join the parent/carer focus group meetings happening on Tuesday, 23 November.

These focus groups will help the inspectors gauge the level of participation, involvement and engagement that our local area has with parents and carers.

The meetings will be attended by:

  • Parents and carers
  • Manchester Parent Carer Forum
  • Manchester Parent Champions
  • Manchester Working Together Network
  • Other SEND organisations and support groups

The lineups for the focus groups have now been filled and we would like to remind those parents/carers who signed up to please check your inbox for the meeting link. If you can’t find the MS Teams invitation, please check your spam folder in case it got falsely tagged as spam. If you can’t find the email there either, please let us know ASAP so we can ask Manchester City Council to send the link again.

(3) Visits to schools and other educational settings

Part of the inspection involves the inspectors going to different educational settings to meet/ speak with leaders, staff, parents/carers, and children/ young people with SEND.

If your child’s school is one of the chosen settings, we expect parents/carers to have been sent invitations by now. Please check your child’s bag or your email for a letter from the setting. Some visits will be made in person while some will be held virtually.

If you have received an invitation, we strongly encourage you to accept and take part, if you can.

(4) Other meetings or focus groups

There may be other meetings looking at specific types of provision – such as the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) or Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH), for example – where parents/carers will be invited as service users.

If you have received an invitation to attend one of these meetings, we strongly encourage you to accept and take part, if you can.

(5) Spread the word.

Please share this post with your family and friends who have children/ young people with SEND. If you’re part of a school group on Facebook or WhatsApp, are a member of a local parent support group, or are otherwise in touch with other SEND families, please consider sharing this with them as well.

Alternatively, please send them a link to the Ofsted/CQC survey so they can answer it as well: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ManchesterCityCouncilLASENDInspection/

If you wish to share the survey in print, please feel free to use this document containing a short link to the above-mentioned survey.

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