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Plans for targeted OFSTED Children’s Services visits after lockdown ends

OFSTED has announced its intention to target inspections on children services departments previously rated ‘inadequate’ when lockdown restrictions are relaxed.

New OFSTED guidance has been released stating that inspectors will undertake “on and offsite” visits to local authorities and independent providers commencing in September with visit prioritisation based on a number of criteria including:

  • those judged inadequate at their last inspection
  • those with an area for priority action
  • those OFSTED have concerns about following information received since their last inspection/visit
  • those that have not yet had a standard or short inspection under the inspection of local authority children’s services (ILACS) framework
  • timing of other activity.

Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman said “Our vital regulatory work in children’s social care and early years has continued throughout lockdown, even though regular inspections have been suspended. We have worked to make sure that standards are being maintained and that there is well-run, safe and effective social care and childcare available for all who need it.

Going into the autumn, we will be making visits to a range of providers, and these will be designed to reflect the work those providers do and our regulatory role.

We will also be visiting local authorities and children’s social care providers, including children’s homes, to check on the experience and progress of children needing protection or care. These visits will not be graded, but if we have serious concerns, we will use our enforcement powers.”