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Statement from the Steering Group of Dorset Parent-Carer Council

The findings of the Ofsted /CQC Joint Local Area Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) inspection in Dorset will come as no surprise to families.

The outcomes mirror what parents have been expressing for some time, parental frustration about the struggles to get their child’s needs assessed, the failure to meet statutory timescales for assessments, lengthy waits for completed Education Health & Care plans. It highlighted inconsistencies with the graduated response across mainstream schools and poor communication with parents.

We would like to thank all the parents and carers who took part in the inspection either through the Inspection webinar, the DPCC online survey or in face to face meetings with the inspection team. We would particularly like to thank those individual families who took the time to share their personal and sometimes awful experiences.

We would like to thank Dorset County Council and the CCG for ensuring we were there through the entirety of the inspection. Dorset County Council and the CCG have committed to improving services and addressing all the weaknesses identified in both the inspection report and the DPCC survey. Dorset Parent Carer Council is working tirelessly to ensure that the voices of parents and carers remain central to every piece of work. There remains a lot of work to be done and families belief in the system will not change until their day-to-day experiences improve.

We welcome the requirement for a statement of action and see this as essential in providing assurance that improvements will happen. We will strive to ensure that all agencies understand their responsibilities to provide a seamless journey for children and young people with SEND and their families in Dorset. We will continue to work with Dorset County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure that the needs of children and young people across Dorset are effectively met to enable them to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes.

If any parents, carers, family members, or organisations would like to be involved in the improvement work you would be very welcome.

Please let us know through our website -

or email -


Please click the button below to see the Ofsted inspection report.

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