Monthly Archives: June 2016

Ofsted/CQC Local Area Inspection of Hertfordshire 4th to 8th July

PLEASE take this once in 5 years opportunity to tell inspectors what you think.  Our survey takes about 5 minutes to complete and is available here :  

Dear HPCI network member, generic cialis
Next week a team of inspectors from Ofsted and CQC (Care Quality Commission) will be in Hertfordshire looking at how effective the local authority (ie Herts County Council and Hertfordshire Health services) are for children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and/or disabilities).  They will be looking at this for ALL children and young people 0-25 with SEND NOT just those with a statement or the new EHC plan.
The inspection will look at how effective Hertfordshire is in the following three ways :-

  1. Identifying the needs of children and young people with SEND
  2. Meeting the needs of these children and young people with SEND.
  3. Improving their outcomes and chances of taking part fully in society.

This new type of inspection, comes out of the SEND reforms and Hertfordshire is one of the first Local Authorities to be inspected over a 5 year period.
In these inspections there is a big emphasis on finding out the views of parents and carers.  The inspectors will hold meetings with parents and parent groups and also visit a small number of education and health settings.  HPCI will be sending parent representatives to meetings. This inspection is different to the Ofsted inspections carried out at individual schools and education settings.
All parents of children and young people should have the chance to contribute their views and to help do that HPCI has developed an online survey based on the questions the inspectors will ask.  We we will pass the results of our survey on to the inspectors.  The survey is confidential and you will not be individually identified.

Ofsted and CQC inspectors are holding an online webinar (that is a type of question and discussion group) which we would also strongly encourage you to take part in if possible.
The webinar takes place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 6th July, led by inspector Heather Yaxley, and will ask parents and carers about their views and experiences on how effectively Herts County Council is fulfilling the 3 responsibilities numbered above.  YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE FOR THIS WEBINAR – the link is : 

Best wishes,
Carol Kelsey
Coordinator HPCI


CQC Ofsted Local Area Inspection Letter

CQC-Ofsted-Hertfordshire Local Area Inspection Letter-3

27 June 2016
Letter to be circulated to parents and carers by Hertfordshire County Council.
Inspection of Hertfordshire County Council local area’s effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of, generic cialis and improving outcomes for, children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities from 4 July 2016 to 8 July 2016
Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will carry out jointly an inspection of your local area.

The inspection will evaluate how effectively the local area:

  • identifies the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  •  meets the needs of these children and young people so that their outcomes and chances of participating fully in society improve.

The views of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, and the views of their parents and carers will be gathered during visits to a number of early years settings, schools, colleges and specialist services. These views are critical to the inspection process. During the inspection, Ofsted and CQC inspectors will be keen to speak to as many children and young people and their parents and carers as possible. Inspectors will select a range of settings to visit and will work with the local authority and its partners to inform children and young people who attend those settings, and their parents and carers, in advance so that they are able to contribute their views. The inspection will also include an online webinar to allow other Hertfordshire County Council parents and carer to contribute.

The webinar will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 6 July 2016. It will led by Heather Yaxley, Her Majesty’s Inspector, will ask parents and carers about their views and experiences on how effectively Hertfordshire County Council is fulfilling the above responsibilities.
While we understand that many parents and carers may have views on their experience that extend before the implementation of the reforms in September 2014, it is important that this date is used as the start for gathering evidence about the impact of the reforms as part of our new inspections. We would also like parents and carers to understand that we will not be able to follow up or comment upon individual cases.

If you would like to take part in this webinar then please follow the following link or

if sent by post.
Agora 6 Cumberland Place Nottingham NG1 6HJ
T 0300 123 1231
Textphone 0161 618 8524
Information on local area duties toward children and young people with special
educational needs and/or disabilities can be found on the Department for Education’s
Yours sincerely
Heather Yaxley
Her Majesty’s Inspector

Inspection of Hertfordshire by Ofsted and CQC (Care Quality Commission) – 4th to 8th July 2016

Inspection of Hertfordshire by Ofsted and CQC (Care Quality Commission) – 4th to 8th July 2016

This document is to give parents and carers a guide to what the inspection is about and what will happen during and after the inspection.

  • This is a NEW type of inspection covers the local AREA (Hertfordshire) and not just the Local Authority as in the past so now it will include Health services in the area. Inspections are jointly carried out by Ofsted (same organisation that inspects schools and colleges) and CQC (Care Quality Commission). The notice period is 1 week.
  • Inspections teams will consist of HMI, buy cialis a CQC Inspector and up to two other local authority inspectors (not from Hertfordshire). They will look at national data and inspections by CQC & Ofsted in Herts before they arrive. Local Areas will be expected to know how effective they are and be able to demonstrate it.
  • All 152 areas in England will be inspected over the next 5 Academic years (started May 2016). The plan is to inspect 30 areas a year but NOT in the school holidays. 8 Local Areas will be inspected from May to July 2016 – they will be selected to cover all 5 regions and type of council structure/size and then August will be a period of reflection and review for Ofsted/CQC.
  • Local Areas will be judged by the SEND Reforms and so if the Local Area is doing right by the reforms it will be fine. The SEND reforms were brought in with the Children and Families Act September 2014

Inspection Results – this will be a written report and not a grade like you have for schools. Depending on the inspection report Local Areas may need to produce an action plan on how they are going to improve. There may also be some follow-up inspection activity from either Ofsted or CQC.

What will they look at?

  • The inspection will look at ALL children and young people 0-25 years who have special educational needs and/or disabilities NOT just those with the most complex needs, statements or EHCs (Education, Health and Care plans). It will also include CYP (children and young people) who are Out of County, Home Educated with SEND and not in education
  • They will visit a small sample of education settings ie schools, colleges etc that they choose but are not inspecting the school or college. They will want to meet parents and CYP there.
  • They will visit Health and Social Care services focusing on their contribution and ability to work collaboratively to meet children and young people’s needs. They will not be inspecting the service.
  • There will be a strong emphasis on gathering the views of young people and parents and carers. This is an entirely new aspect of the inspection and will involve meeting parents during visits to settings, meeting with established parent and carer groups. There will also be webinar for parents and carers during the inspection week.
  • They will also meet with elected members, key officers for Health, Education and Social Care, leaders of Early Years settings, schools, colleges and specialist services.


What does GOOD look like?

  • Local areas must work in partnership with children and young people, and their parents and carers to understand their needs so that outcomes can improve.
  • Early years providers, schools and colleges must also work in partnership with the local authority and social care and health services to identify and meet these needs effectively.
  • Education, health and social care services must work closely together to jointly commission (plan and buy) the support and services their children and young people require, including where these are not located in the same area.
  • Focusing on the needs of children and young people who have an education, health and care plan cannot be at the expense of providing for those others who require support but who do not need a plan.
  • Early intervention and timely support can prevent some children and young people from needing an education, health and care plan at a later stage.
  • Each local authority must set out the support it expects to be available in its local offer and ensure that this information is accessible.

Ofsted/CQC inspection framework published 

The Framework and Guidance for Inspectors can be found at the following links:

Update on Baker Small Twitter storm

Dear HPCI network member, buy cialis

Following on from our email of yesterday Herts County Council have made the following press release concerning their relationship with legal firm Baker Small.  We welcome the decision made by Herts County Council and this means that, cialis generic so far, 8 local authorities have taken a similar decision.
Herts County Council have also taken the very positive step of inviting HPCI to meet with them to discuss the wider issues that our letter raised.   We look forward to meeting with them and having a fruitful discussion and how we can work together more effectively to improve services, provision and family experience.
Further information – HPCI released a press statement at the request of the Comet newspaper and our Chair Leise Cooper was interviewed today for BOB FM radio.   HPCI is also quoted in the Guardian newspaper 

HCC Press Release
We were very disappointed to read the totally unacceptable and insensitive comments made by Baker Small Solicitors on social media and are taking this matter very seriously. Baker Small will no longer be representing us on new cases. We will be terminating our association with them at the earliest possible opportunity without causing disruption to ongoing tribunal cases and unnecessary delays to families, or putting the council at risk of legal challenge.

HPCI Statement on Baker Small

Herts Parent Carer Involvement are dismayed to note the recent disparaging public comments made on Twitter by Baker Small Solicitors. Baker Small works on behalf of Local Authorities, cialis including Hertfordshire, to defend appeals against those families who need to access the Tribunal system in order to secure the Special Educational Provision needed by their child. The comments made show a disdain and disregard for these families who are seeking support for their children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Parents in Hertfordshire, who have encountered Baker Small representing Herts County Council, have made us aware in recent years that this confrontational, aggressive, disrespectful attitude to parents is common place. We have also heard from professionals in Herts who have attended training run by Baker Small and funded by HCC, that the training includes strategies to use at Tribunal to belittle and undermine parents, by making them appear emotional and unreliable as witnesses. In the aftermath of the unprofessional tweets of the weekend, we have been contacted by parents due to face Baker Small at Tribunal in the coming months who are very distressed at the possibility of their children’s needs being so publicly ridiculed by someone representing HCC. Parents are not legal experts and challenging through the courts to get their child’s needs met is a hugely difficult and emotionally draining experience, for parents who are often already at full stretch simply caring for their disabled children.

We have on many occasions as a forum expressed our frustration to HCC officers that HCC use money from Government that is allocated to meet the SEND needs of children in Herts to pay for an advice contract with Baker Small and to engage them on a case by case basis. We have in the past successfully challenged the total amount of additional money being spent on further staff training from Baker Small, and indeed HCC have spent a much smaller amount of money instead on upskilling parents to have a greater understanding of the new system, which we appreciate as a positive step. We welcome the clear leadership show by Cambridgeshire County Council in announcing that they are cutting their ties with Baker Small.

One of the key aims of the Children and Families Act 2014, is to reduce the adversarial nature of the SEND system and one of the ways that it does this is by enshrining in law the requirement for Local Authorities to work in partnership with families to assess and provide for a child’s SEND We strongly believe that by continuing to use Baker Small, who are demonstrably invested in keeping the system adversarial and confrontational, is not in the best interests of Hertfordshire’s children with SEND or it’s wider population.

Herts Parent Carer Involvement are the Parent Carer Forum for Hertfordshire, as recognised by the Department of Education and Hertfordshire County Council. We are an independent parent-led organisation that works to improve services and life chances for children and young people in Herts with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.