No notice inspections for children’s services


Local authority (LA) children’s services will be subject to unannounced two week on-site inspections if the latest proposals from Ofsted get the go ahead.

Under the new plans, inspection will look at all stages of a child’s experience from early intervention through to when a child is referred to the children’s social care services and on to their exit from the child protection system. Direct observation of services in action, including interactions with children and families, will be a key part of the new system. Inspection will also consider whether the quality of early help could have prevented the child from entering the child protection system in the first place and the impact the failure to provide such help might have had on the child.

Ofsted claims that its proposals “focus on the child’s journey as a key element in the inspection of child protection and for children in care”, arguing that, through inspection, the changes are aimed at bringing about improvements to the services children receive and how these impact on their lives.

Launching the consultation, Miriam Rosen, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, said that: “These proposals will focus inspection on what matters most – the direct support children and their families receive and the effectiveness of these services in helping to protect potentially vulnerable children.”

The review of the inspection system follows the recommendations from The Munro Review of Child Protection: Final report; A child-centred system (2011).

The Office has launched a consultation on its proposals for the inspection of LA children’s services which runs until 30 September 2011. The new inspection framework will come into force from May 2012.

Access to the online consultation can be found at:

SEN News Team
Author: SEN News Team

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