Four out of five children said it should be compulsory for the inspectors of children and young people’s services to consult them before they judge how good those services are.
The findings come in a new report from the children’s rights director Roger Morgan. He asked more than 90 children from children’s homes, fostering services, boarding schools, residential special schools and some care leavers what they thought about the government’s plans to create a single inspectorate for children and young people.
Three quarters of those questioned also wanted inspectors to help services improve and to check that children’s rights were being upheld. Half the children thought that the frequency of inspections was “about right”, but one in four said they would like inspectors to come more often.
“The children and young people we spoke to simply reinforced what we already know – that you cannot make a judgement about the quality of care, education and other services they receive, without speaking to them directly,” Morgan said.
“It is vital that these children, many of whom live in children’s homes or with foster parents, know what the new inspectorate is there to do, and regard it as hearing their views, checking that their rights and welfare are properly safeguarded, and that their services are doing what is right for them,” he added.
Under the government’s plans, the inspection of education and care services for children and young people would come under one body, which would have responsibility for adult learners too.