Monitoring independent special schools
Occasionally we have to place a child in an independent special school to cater for their needs. When this happens the council monitor the school and the service that it provides.
The process of commissioning these placements can be complex. We must ensure that the schools we use can provide the best possible outcomes for our children with SEND. This can take some time and can require checks and visits to the schools. These checks and visits are carried out by the Independent Provision Monitoring Officer.
Independent Provision Monitoring Officer
North Lincolnshire Council employs the Independent Provision Monitoring Officer to provide an oversight and assurance that we are actively helping to raise standards in the providers. These standards are around all aspects of the service:
- education and learning
- child welfare and safety
- how parents, carers and children’s voices are heard
Each independent school is visited every six months to check that they are:
- delivering the best service they can
- delivering the service the council wants
- maximising the potential of the young people and children placed there
However, where issues are identified, the Monitoring Officer carries out more regular visits to ensure the provider can return to the level of service required.
On each visit, the standards, policies and procedures of a provider are checked against the National Contract. Lessons are observed and students are interviewed about their experience of the school.
Some schools are residential and these are also checked to ensure the welfare and safety of our children placed there.
Parents and carers are very important to us – how they communicate with the provider is always checked on the visit. This helps us to ensure that parents maintain a close link with the school and their child’s education.