Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will jointly carry out a re-inspection of Bristol Special Educational Needs and Disabilities services, from Tuesday 4th October 2022 to Thursday 6th October 2022.

CLICK HERE to read our survey update on the Written Statement of Action

During the re-visit, Ofsted and CQC inspectors will be keen to speak to as many children and young people and their parents and carers as possible. It does not matter if you were not involved in the last inspection or if you have only recently started to use SEND services in Bristol. The contact information is at the bottom of this post.

The re-visit will evaluate how effectively leaders have addressed the areas of significant weaknesses which were identified during the last SEND inspection visit. There is a helpful document here to help you understand more about this.

The issues identified were:

1. Accountability: families felt the council had not been honest about reported data, that SEND services did not understand the needs of specific community groups and did not offer a range of support to meet the various needs of the community.

2. Inconsistencies in the timeliness and effectiveness of SEND identification and assessments: families felt they had to keep ‘shouting’ before they got any support for their child and that too many children struggle for years in school before they get the support they need.

3. A dysfunctional EHC plan process with inadequate quality of EHC plans: families felt that the SEND team did not understand the legal framework and that plans were not clear enough and did not help education settings.

4. Underachievement and lack of inclusion of children and young people: families felt that the experiences of school support were mixed and that their children were sent home or excluded from activities as punishment for ‘bad behaviour’ but were not given the support they needed in school to help change behaviour.

5. A fractured relationships with parents and carers, lack of coproduction and variable engagement and collaboration: families felt that there was a lack of clarity and transparency around everything to do with SEND, that the council’s culture was not family friendly or child centred and that the council should do more to reach out to families from all backgrounds and communities.

  1. From 12 noon on Monday 26th September, parents and carers can take part in a survey here: The survey will close at 12 noon on Friday 30th September 2022.
  2. Parents and carers can email their contributions to
  3. In light of Bristol City Council’s recent decision not to continue to work with the previously recognised DfE Parent Carer Forum, parents and carers can contact Bristol’s Engagement Officer, Steph Lynch to find out more about how they can contribute their views during the local area re-visit.

For more information, download this letter.