How is Ofsted supporting & evaluating SEND provision during the pandemic?

The education fo children with SEND (or lack of it) during the pandemic has been on our minds all year. How can we make schools and LAs accountable for ensuring disabled children's provision is met? While most children have had precious little time in school this year, for those with SEND, it's been even worse and some still are not back in their regular settings.

Ofsted's inspectors have been making non-judgemental visits to schools and local authorities and we wrote here about what they found in their first interim report. SPoiler alert: it wasn't good.

SO, I hope you'll take a listen to our new episode of SNJ in Conversation, where our columnist Matt Keer and I, were joined by Nick Whittaker. Nick is an Ofsted HM Inspector and its SEND Specialist Adviser. Nick chats to us about how Ofsted's been examining SEND provision during the coronavirus pandemic and what they've learned. We also discuss whether the area SEND inspections have made any difference, whether Ofsted looks at why more parents are choosing to home educate, what they focus on during inspections that give them a good view of SEND provision and why they don't give a separate SEND grade to schools.

We sourced questions from readers and from members of our "Let's Talk about SEND" Facebook Group. The good news is that Nick will be doing more of these chats and they'll be theme-based. Tell us (via the reply form at the end) what you want us to hone in on next!

It's quite a long one, but easy to listen while you're commuting, driving, cooking, exercising or whatever you do when you listen to podcasts - I'm currently crocheting along!

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Listen to the Podcast Version of our Ofsted chat

You can find it on all the main podcasting platforms, the main ones are listen below and we've embedded the Spotify version here too.

YouTube | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Anchor

Watch on YouTube

You can watch on YouTube itself here and please SUBSCRIBE too! It's also embedded below.

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Want to help shape our new Ofsted SEND series?

Tell us what themes and questions you want us to cover in our new series about SEND and Ofsted.

Also read:


  • Become an SNJ Squad patron
  • SNJ FLOW CHARTS
  • Neurodiversity Celebration Week
  • SEND Community Alliance Join us

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Tania Tirraoro
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