Local area SEND inspection and SEND Transformation!

Ofsted, CQC Inspections and SEND Transformation, ….what?  

What does it all mean for YOU? 

It’s been a very busy few months since our Participation event! Within days of our last Blog Wigan Local Authority was notified of an OFSTED and CQC Local area SEND Inspection. 

What is an OFSTED/CQC Local Area Inspection?

In May 2016, the two inspectorates, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), started a new type of joint inspection. The aim is to hold local areas to account and champion the rights of children and young people. 


Under the Local area Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) inspection framework, inspectors review how local areas meet their responsibilities to children and young people (from birth to age 25) who have special educational needs or disabilities (or both). 

Week Beginning 18th June 2018, Ofsted and CQC began their inspection of Wigan. During the inspection they met with parents and carers in a public meeting at The Edge, Wigan and also provided a webinar where feedback could be given about our experiences with our children with SEND, relating to Health, Education and Social Care. Wigan Parent Carer Forum also provided the results of a survey of parent carers feedback to Inspectors. There was some criticism that the information about the meeting and webinar, and indeed the inspection itself, did not successfully reach everyone and the opportunities available to contribute were not accessible enough (for working parents in particular). 

Ofsted/CQC identified a number of places where they attended to speak with parents and young people about their experiences. (schools/colleges/StartWell Centres etc)

They also spoke with a range of professionals regarding SEND services and provision in Wigan for Education, Health and Social Care. 

You can find the outcome of the inspection here. 

So now we have had the inspection and have the report, what happens now? 

Wigan Local Authority had already started to co-produce plans for SEND Transformation, which were shared at the Participation Event, the presentation can be found here

Much of the inspection report confirms the identified concerns that had previously arisen from parents and brought to the attention of the Local Authority along with many strengths and recognition of good work. The report helped to identify Wigan’s strengths whilst offering direction and confirmation as to how things can be improved. So what now?  So now, after recognising not everyone’s experience has been a good one, but building upon existing good work – we are in the exciting times of SEND TRANSFORMATION! –  It is vital Parent Carers have their say in the transformation of SEND services and provision – We know our children and circumstances better than anyone else. We know what works for us and our children!

Have your say! 

#LetsParticipate Come along be informed and contribute to the transformation: 

Parent Carer Forum meeting : Tuesday 18th September 12:30-2pm at Ashland House, Ince

We will be focusing on parents feedback of the inspection report, and their experiences in Wigan to feed into future SEND transformation discussions. What do you consider are the key priorities to improve services for SEND in Wigan Borough? 

We will be discussing the support available for families of children with SEND in Wigan, Short Breaks Services the future of the Parent Carer Forum and any arising issues brought to the meeting. 

Come along and find out what SEND Transformation really means for you and be part of Transformation of SEND services in Wigan. Improve outcomes for all children, young people with SEND, and their families in Wigan.

You can also have your say on: 

  • Wednesday 19th September 6-7:30pm at Platt Bridge Community Zone 
  • online here 
  • Or join our Closed Facebook Group here. 
  • The 3rd Tuesday of the month (Term time) 12:30-2pm at Ashland House,Ince. 

Be Involved – Have YOUR Say – Your Forum


What are the Parent Carer Forum doing regarding SEND Transformation?

  • Increasing accessibility for parent carers to be involved, by having new evening sessions each month (term time) to add to the existing Stay and Plays, Coffee Mornings, Training, Events, Online opportunities and Newsletter. As well as seeking out further opportunities to engage parent carers in having their say. 
  • Assessing and improving how we reach parent carers with information and opportunities. 
  • Attending SEND Transformation workshops and meetings to represent Parent Carers voice. Meeting with relevant professionals and partners to work together on shaping services; challenging, contributing and co-producing. 
  • Consulting with parent carers to feed into plans and contribute to the shaping of SEND Transformation in Wigan. Inviting parent carers to attend events, training and other opportunities to ensure wide representation of different circumstances. 
  • Updating parent carers on continued developments 


There will then be follow up meetings so Parent Carers can receive updates of the progress of SEND Transformation from Education, Health and Social Care on the following dates:

Tuesday 16th October 2018 : Transition : Kathryn Anthon, Wigan Council Social Care. 

Tuesday 20th November 2018 : SEND Transformation Update: Cath Pealing, Wigan Council Services to Schools. 

Tuesday 15th January 2019 : Neurodevelopmental Pathway Update : Sarah Marshall, Wigan CCG.  

We hope you can join us in contributing to positive change in Wigan for Children and Young People with SEND and their families.

Location: Ashland House Dobson Park Way, Ince-in-Makerfield, Wigan WN2 2DX

If you have any questions, comments or feedback please feel free to contact us at:

We look forward to hearing from you 🙂


*Further reading and Jargon Buster:

SEND – Special Educational Needs and/or Disability. OFSTEDOffice for Standards in Education CQC Care Quality Commision

CCGClinical Commissioning Group 

Ofsted /CQC Inspections background and information.   Update on  inspections: here



Participation Event 2018!

Wigan Parent Carer Forum Participation Event June 8th, 2018.


For those who were unable to make the event on Friday 8th June we bring the event to you in this quick update!

Nothing can replace those face to face conversations but hopefully we can give you a flavour of the day and keep you informed on how you can be involved moving forward.

Click to see WELCOME VIDEO

After a brief welcome video, the event was opened by James Winterbottom (Director of Children’s Services, Wigan Council) and Cllr Jenny Bullen. (Portfolio holder for children and young people, Wigan Council)



councillor bullen
Councillor Bullen reiterated the desire of Wigan Council, not only to listen to parent carers of children with SEND, but to hear and ACT upon the voice of parent carers to ensure Wigan can provide the best services possible for our children, young people and families.

Some of our Parent Carers then introduced the event and handed over to Susan Harris to facilitate the day.



Throughout the day we had presentations on:

SEND Transformation from Cath Pealing, Service Manager – Enhanced. Services for Schools, Wigan Council.

Transition – Jo Willmot, Kathryn Anthon and Leah Edwards – Social Care Wigan Council.

Neurodevelopmental Pathway – Sarah Marshall (CCG), Becky Johnson (NWBNHS), Lorraine Price, (Wigan Council SEND Team).

All the powerpoint presentations are available to read and download on our closed Facebook group: here

There you can also read all the burning issues that arose from parent carers, that were added to a board and then typed up, which we will be passing on the the relevant people for further action.

During the afternoon we explored: “What is participation?”

Some of our parents presented what participating in the parent carer forum has meant to them.

We also recognised that not everyone could be at the event and discussed ways we could further the reach to more parent carers.


words that describe participation
Some of the table top thoughts were captured on this graphic. We explored the various ways we can participate and how we want to be involved, which will contribute to the development of Wigan’s Participation Strategy.


Some of the pledges from professionals.


From reading parents “post its”, expressing their burning issues, there is no doubt there is still a lot to do – but it doesn’t end here!

Everyone presenting will be returning to attend a Forum meeting to follow up from today, updating parent carers on any developments and ensuring we remain involved!

Keep your eye on the Online Community, Facebook, Twitter for future meetings where you can have your say!


Thank you to everyone involved, all the speakers, professionals who attended, Sue Harris for facilitating, Embrace for supporting and attending and most of all all the wonderful parents who attended and made their voices heard, #ParentPower! Special thanks to the parent carers who gave up their time to help prepare, organise and enable the event to run.







SEND Transformation Wigan

(Special Educational Needs and/or Disability)

Parent Carers of Wigan Borough!

If there was ever a time to offer your opinion IT IS DEFINITELY NOW!

Parent Carer Participation Event 2020

On 30th January 2020 Wigan had two Parent Carer Participation Events

Daytime and Evening in Leigh

If you missed out you still have an opportunity to have your say.

(If you did attend please also complete the survey to offer your feedback on the event)

At the event Wigan Council presented their response to the feedback provided from parent carers at various consultation and focus groups throughout the past 12/18 months of SEND Transformation in Wigan Borough.

💡 What Wigan Council Identified as the five key messages from families around SEND Transformation Programme:

  • We feel that mainstream schools are not inclusive 
  • The SEND support pathway isn’t clear to us
  • Diagnosis and timescales to support takes too long 
  • Coordination of support is weak 
  • The short breaks offer is inconsistent and inflexible

They then updated us on what they had done and what they now propose to do.

All information and opportunity to respond can be found here:

All information is also displayed at Ashland House Ince, for anyone wanting to come along and discuss this with a Parent Carer Forum Representative.

More Blogs