Suffolk Local Offer

Outcome of Ofsted / CQC inspection of SEND Services published

Suffolk local area partnership commits to urgent improvements to SEND services and apologises to families.
30 Jan 2024

Ofsted / CQC have today published their report following their inspection of SEND Services in Suffolk, which took place in November 2023. The inspection report can be read here.

The results of the report

The inspection report identifies "widespread and / or systemic failings" across the local area partnership led by Suffolk County Council, NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board and Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board. It is the lowest rating possible.

This means that the inspection identified failings that have "significant negative impact on the experiences and outcomes of children and young people".

The Department for Education are considering what intervention is needed to ensure improvements and are likely to issue an improvement notice or statutory direction to us. This is standard practice in these circumstances and the priority action plan and new improvement plan we are developing will ensure we meet the requirements the Department for Education set us.

Our response

We want to say sorry to you, our children, young people and families.

We accept the findings of the report. We understand the scale of the issues, and know that too many children and young people with SEND and their families have not had the service and outcomes they need and deserve.

We have already put in place strong improvement plans and are updating them to make sure all the issues in the inspection report are addressed. We are determined to build on our plans to go further and faster to deliver the improvements needed.

What happens next?

  1. We have to submit a priority action plan to Ofsted/ CQC for their approval by 7 March 2024. This plan will set out how and when we will address the priority actions and areas for improvement in the inspection report. We will publish our plan on this website.
  2. We have to update our strategic plans by 7 March 2024. We have already been co-producing and consulting on a new SEND strategy for 2024-2026. We now need to finish our SEND Strategy more quickly than we told you, including speeding up the co-production and consultation work. We will publish our SEND Strategy on this website.
  3. The Department for Education will formally tell us to improve. They are considering whether to issue an improvement notice or statutory direction to us. This is standard practice in these circumstances.
  4. Leaders, teams and staff will work hard to deliver the priority action and improvement plan. It will take time for improvements to be experienced by our children, young people and families and we want to see a positive impact over the next year. We will update you on our progress against the plan here on the website.
  5. Ofsted and the CQC will visit us for a monitoring inspection in about 18 months.
  6. Our next full reinspection will be in about 3 years.