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Ofsted briefing on local areas’ SEND provision, October 2020

17th November 2020

Ofsted have published findings from the first six area special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) interim visits. The briefing summarises what we have learned about the experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. It provides insights into what has worked well and what has been challenging for them as well as how areas plan to support them in the future.

We found that many children and young people with SEND have lost access to their education, to additional support, to essential health services and to routine and to familiar adults who understand and can meet their needs. Parents and carers have found it increasingly hard, especially those have also lost informal support from family and friends. We found that the shift to online working has had positive benefits for some children and young people with SEND and their families, but we also learned about the limitations of this approach for those who do not have access to new technologies. We can see that the pace and scale of change needed during the pandemic as well as the ongoing uncertainty it has created have been challenging and made long-term planning very difficult.

We would like to thank the six local areas for volunteering to participate in the interim visits programme.