Parents have been encouraged to voice their concerns in a survey ahead of Bristol’s Ofsted & Care Quality Commission (CQC) SEND re-inspection.
The 14-part questionnaire focuses on the five areas of weakness outlined in the city’s previous joint inspection.
In 2019, inspectors noted a ‘lack of leadership’, ‘fractured relationships with parents and carers’, and ‘inconsistencies in the timeliness and effectiveness of the local area’s arrangements for the identification and assessment of children and young people with SEND.’
The report called on Bristol City Council to provide a written statement of action on how it would address the following areas:
◼ The lack of accountability of leaders at all levels, including school leaders
◼ The inconsistencies in the timeliness and effectiveness of the local area’s arrangements for the identification and assessment of children and young people with SEND
◼ The dysfunctional EHC plan process, and inadequate quality of EHC plans
◼ The underachievement and lack of inclusion of children and young people with SEND, including the high rates of persistent absenteeism and fixed-term exclusions
◼ The fractured relationships with parents and carers, lack of co-production and variable engagement and collaboration.
Bristol Parents Carers Forum is a network of parents and carers of children with disabilities and special needs who live in Bristol.
The group has campaigned for improved for SEND provisions to “support and empower families to be heard and achieve better outcomes ensuring families’ voices are heard by planners and decision-makers.”
Chair, Hayley Hemming told Bristol World: “We would urge all parent carers to take part in the survey and feedback on their experiences to help shape the future of SEND services in the city.
“There are also other options to share your views including emailing the inspector and asking for a meeting for all parent carers to attend, this is something normally a forum would request on behalf of families.
“We have resources on our website to help people understand the visit, or people can find out more using the council’s local offer page.”
Inspectors will visit Bristol from October 4 to October.
Parents can take part in the survey ahead of their arrival by visiting www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/BristolCityCouncilRe-visitLASEND/
The survey will close on Friday (September 30).