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Local Area SEND Inspection

What is a Local Area Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Inspection?

Ofsted* and the Care Quality Commission (CQC)* have been asked by the government to jointly inspect "local areas" regarding the needs of children and young people aged 0 – 25 years with SEND (part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014). The aim of the inspection is to evaluate the effectiveness of the local area’s processes and identify ways to improve and develop these to ensure that better outcomes for children and young people with SEND are delivered. The inspection is not to evaluate the overall quality of individual providers or services. This is a new type of joint inspection which started in May 2016.

What is meant by a "Local Area"?

The Local Area includes the local authority, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), public health, NHS England for specialist services, early years settings, schools and post 16 further education sector. There are 152 local areas in total.

What the inspectors will want to know?

How effectively the local area identifies, assesses and meets the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and / or disabilities and how children and young people who have special educational needs and / or disabilities are supported to move on to their next stage of education, the world of work and wider preparation for adulthood.

How can you join in?

Parent / carer, children and young people’s views and experiences are a ‘central feature’ of the inspection process. You can give your views in person, by email or by completing a form. We will make members of the Parent, Carer Forum aware when the date of the inspection is known (it is free to join the Parent Carer Forum). The inspectors will visit settings such as nurseries, schools and colleges. Inspectors will meet with managers and leaders from the local area’s education, health and social care services and look at case files. 

You can leave feedback now on our Feedback/Contact us page.

How will inspectors report their findings?

At the end of the inspection, the team will write a joint inspection outcome letter explaining the main findings and any recommendations for improvement. You will be able to read this letter on the Department for Education and CQC websites.

How do I know what is available in the "Local Area"?

There is statutory duty on the local authority to publish what they expect to be available locally for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). They have to publish it on a website called the "Local Offer". Blackpool’s Local Offer can be found at FYi Directory. If you have feedback about the Local offer, have any difficulty finding any service, activity or information or require any further information please contact us.


(Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) inspects and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.

Care Quality Commission

(Care Quality Commission) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.

Further links providing information on the SEND inspection

The Local Area SEND Inspection Framework 2016:

Care Quality Commission joint inspections information:


Last updated: 20 May 2020
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