Ofsted’s focus may marginalise young people

    Ofsted’s primary focus on serving parents could
    marginalise the welfare of vulnerable young people within the
    proposed single inspectorate for children, the Commission for
    Social Care Inspection has warned, writes Mithran
    Samuel
    .

    In a draft consultation response, due to be discussed by
    CSCI’s board yesterday, the regulator also calls into
    question the government’s wider plan to merge its
    children’s function with Ofsted and its adult function with
    the Healthcare Commission.

    It says the 3 per cent of children receiving social care
    services it inspects could get “lost” within an
    inspectorate also covering education and adult learning.

    The draft response adds: “The commission would suggest
    – as an observation, not a criticism – that
    Ofsted’s primary ‘customers’ are parents. For us
    parents are critical stakeholders but the welfare of children is
    paramount.”

    The warning is particularly pertinent given the Department for
    Education and Skills’ conception of the new inspectorate as
    an “enlarged Ofsted”.

    Ofsted declined to comment on CSCI’s claim, referring
    Community Care to its statement on 29 July welcoming the
    DfES’s consultation proposals.

    The consultation on A single inspectorate for children and
    learners closes on 4 November.

    Draft CSCI response from www.csci.org.uk.

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