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Commenting on the launch of Ofsted’s Annual Report, Ms Chris Keates, Acting General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Many of the issues highlighted in Ofsted’s Annual Report reflect long-held NASUWT concerns about the implications of Government policy.

“In particular, Ofsted is right to highlight that in too many cases across the country, SEND pupils are being let down by failures in joint working arrangements between local authorities, health and care services.

“While funding pressures are, of course, at the heart of many of these concerns, it is clear that decisions taken in the last ten years by the Government to dismantle the highly effective local joint working arrangements it inherited has wrought lasting damage on the SEND system.

“Too many areas suffer from fragmented and poorly co-ordinated services. In such cases, it is often hard-pressed teachers and school leaders who are left to try to fill in the gaps left by the absence of external support.

“It is right that Ofsted emphasises the impact of poor teacher wellbeing and workload on teachers and their ability to focus on teaching and learning.

“In these areas as well as others identified by Ofsted today, such as the prevalence of off-rolling and lack of effective support for schools in challenging circumstances, the absence of appropriate and effective regulation is a key factor.

“In all these respects, the NASUWT has continued to set out practical alternative approaches that would tackle these issues and ensure that national policy provides more effective support to children, young people and the teachers and school leaders that work with them.

“The Government would do well to reflect carefully on Ofsted’s Annual Report and recognise the key changes needed to better support the education system in future.”

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