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Ofsted inspections to start again

Ofsted has announced that it will be returning to undertake full inspections in 2021.

Inspections will resume across children’s services, schools, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision and early years settings in 2021 after visits were suspended due to Covid-19.

The inspection body has confirmed that focused visits to council’s children’s services will resume in January as will Social Care common inspection framework visits. Routine inspections will start again in April with priority to be given to council’s currently rated as ‘inadequate’.

Inspections of early years settings will restart at the beginning of the spring term and will be ‘proportionate and risk based’ with providers prioritised on the length of time since their last inspection and any other ‘relevant information’.

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said “The usual level of scrutiny within the education and care system has been absent since last March, so it’s important that it returns next year as we all hope for a greater level of normality. But we understand the pressure that everyone in education and social care is working under and we want to return to our usual work in a measured, sensitive and practical way.

These plans will help us support the providers who are facing the greatest challenges during these difficult times. They will ensure that inspection is fair, safe and valuable, while remaining true to our core purpose and principles."