Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Medway between 9 and 11 December 2019 to carry out a joint revisit of the area’s special education needs and disabilities (SEND) provision. The purpose of the revisit was to decide whether sufficient progress has been made in addressing eight areas with weaknesses identified in a previous visit in 2017, and set out in a written statement of action in January 2018.
Ofsted and CQC found that Medway has made sufficient progress in five of the eight areas, with further work needed in the other three where the inspectors could see evidence of improvement and a clear path for delivery of better outcomes.
Areas where sufficient progress has been made:
- taking suitable responsibility for ensuring the effective implementation of the reforms
- clearly understood and effective lines of accountability
- effective co-production at all levels
- sufficient information to inform accurate evaluation
- the quality and rigour of its self-evaluation and monitoring and its effectiveness in driving improvement
Areas where sufficient progress has yet to be made:
- improving joint strategic leadership between the council, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and education providers
- lack of a clearly communicated strategy understood and shared by leaders across the area
- improving the quality of its education, health and care (EHC) plans
Overall, agencies in Medway are working better together to support children with special educational needs and disabilities, and improve the service they provide. Inspectors recognised that ‘a network of skilled and committed professionals’ are determined to implement effective improvements.