SEND Advisor reports about local authorities

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Education,

I understand that DfE SEND advisors "are expected to ensure that key areas of the reforms are being implemented by local authorities in line with the legislative and cultural intentions behind the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Code of Practice 2015. A standard template is used by all SEND advisors to report back to the department following their visits to local authorities." (DfE response to FOI request here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...).

Please publish all the SEND advisor reports for the following local authorities:

Bolton
Brighton
Enfield
Gloucestershire
Hertfordshire
North Yorkshire
Nottinghamshire
Stoke
Surrey

How many SEND advisors does the DfE employ?

How many local authorities have so far had a visit from a SEND advisor?

How often could a local authority expect a visit from an advisor?

Can you explain the difference between a SEND advisor visit and an Ofsted local area inspection ( I understand the inspection includes more than the local authority (e.g. CCGs), but isn't the SEND inspector essentially duplicating part of the Ofsted inspection, but in a more superficial and less rigorous way)?

Yours faithfully,

John Furlong

Department for Education

Dear Mr. Furlong,

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 28 October 2016. You asked:

“Please publish all the SEND advisor reports for the following local authorities:

Bolton

Brighton

Enfield

Gloucestershire

Hertfordshire

North Yorkshire

Nottinghamshire

Stoke

Surrey

How many SEND advisors does the DfE employ?

How many local authorities have so far had a visit from a SEND advisor?

How often could a local authority expect a visit from an advisor?

Can you explain the difference between a SEND advisor visit and an Ofsted local area inspection ( I understand the inspection includes more than the local authority (e.g. CCGs), but isn't the SEND inspector essentially duplicating part of the Ofsted inspection, but in a more superficial and less rigorous way)?”

I am dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”).

The Department holds the information you have requested. However, the following exemption may apply to some of the information you have requested:

· S. 36 Prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs: information, if released, would inhibit the free and frank exchange of view or advice, or prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.

The Act obliges the Department to respond to requests promptly, and in any case no later than 20 working days after receiving your request. However, where one of the exemptions listed above is applicable, the Department must consider whether the public interest lies in disclosing or withholding the information. In these circumstances the Act allows the time for response to be longer than 20 working days.

In your case the Department estimates that it will take an additional five days to take a decision on where the balance of the public interest lies. I anticipate that you should receive a full response by Friday 2 December. If it appears that it will take longer than this to reach a conclusion, we will keep you informed.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be considered by an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original consideration of your request.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Yours sincerely,

Benedict Coffin
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Unit
Department for Education

Web: https://www.education.gov.uk<https://www.education.gov.uk/>
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/educationgovuk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk

[https://www.education.gov.uk/images2/iri...

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    FoI 2016 0049897 LA visits.zip

    996K Download

Dear Mr. Furlong,

 

Thank you for your information request received on 28 October 2016.  You
asked the Department for Education to publish all the SEND advisor reports
for the local authorities listed below.  You also asked:

·       how many SEND advisors the Department employs;

·       how many local authorities have so far had a visit from a SEND
advisor;

·       how often a local authority could expect a visit from an advisor;
and

·       for an explanation of the difference between a SEND advisor visit
and an Ofsted local area inspection. 

 

I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
 As requested, the SEND advisor reports for the following local
authorities are attached to this letter:

·       Bolton

·       Hertfordshire

·       North Yorkshire

·       Stoke on Trent

·       Surrey

 

The Department’s SEND advisers have not conducted any monitoring visits to
the following local authorities, and so we do not hold any adviser
reports. 

·       Brighton

·       Enfield

·       Gloucestershire

·       Nottinghamshire

 

The local area inspections conducted by Ofsted and CQC consider how
effectively the local area identifies, meets the needs and improves the
outcomes of the wide range of different groups of children and young
people who have special educational needs or a disability.  Inspectors use
a wide range of information to evaluate the effectiveness of the local
area.  There is a strong emphasis on gathering the views of young people,
parents and carers, alongside discussion with a range of partners,
including elected members, local area officers from health, education and
social care, and meetings with leaders of early years settings, schools,
colleges, and specialist services.  Visits will be made to a range of
providers and services, not to inspect the provision but to focus on their
understanding and participation in meeting the local area’s
responsibilities. 

 

Following the inspection, local areas will not be graded, but will be
given a narrative evaluation report that highlights areas of strength and
areas where improvements need to be made, including any urgent priority
areas for improvement.  Reports are published on both the Ofsted and CQC
websites alongside reports arising from other local area children’s
inspections and review activity.  Further information can be found in the
handbook for inspectors
([1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

 

The Department’s SEND advisers do not duplicate this activity.  They play
a different but complementary role, supporting implementation of the
statutory duties introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014.  The
SEND advisers act on the Department’s behalf, providing direct monitoring,
advice, challenge and support to local authorities and their partners. 
Where the joint Ofsted/CQC inspections hold local areas accountable
through a programme of visits over five years, the SEND advisers have an
ongoing role, acting as a ‘critical friend’.  

 

The SEND advisers have engaged with every local authority, working in a
range of ways.  Some of the work will be through formal visits, but there
will also be email and telephone contact, for example to answer queries,
request progress updates or respond to requests for support and advice. 
The nature of the contact and the level of formality will vary with the
circumstances.  In addition, the advisers are involved in planning and
delivering workshops and other training events organised within each
region.  

 

Since the SEND adviser team was set up in at the start of 2014, 113 local
authorities have received one or more formal monitoring visits. 
Monitoring visits will typically consider the local authority’s progress
in implementing the new statutory SEND duties, the support and resources
available, and any current issues or concerns.  There is therefore no set
frequency for monitoring visits. 

 

The Department currently contracts five SEND advisers through the
Delivering Better Outcomes Together consortium (comprising Mott MacDonald,
the Council for Disabled Children and the National Development Team for
Inclusion).  In addition, the Department contracts a lead professional
adviser, who works directly with the Department. 

 

I hope that this response has been helpful in answering your questions. 

 

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright.
You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study
and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an
exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can be
also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news
reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would
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Most documents produced by a government department or agency, such as the
Department for Education will be protected by Crown Copyright. Most Crown
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please see The National Archives website
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Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information
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If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should
make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar
months of the date of this letter.  Your complaint will be considered by
an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request. 

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the
Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office. 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Benedict Coffin

 

Web: [5]https://www.education.gov.uk
Twitter: [6]https://www.twitter.com/educationgovuk
Facebook: [7]https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk

 

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