Welfare of at-risk children in question

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

In a draft consultation response, due to be discussed by the
commission this week, the regulator also questions 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 that
also covers education and adult learning.

The draft response adds: “The commission would suggest… that
Ofsted’s primary ‘customers’ are parents. For us, parents are
critical stakeholders but the welfare of children is

The Department for Education and Skills’ has made it clear that
it sees the new inspectorate as an “enlarged Ofsted”.

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

The draft commission response also attacks the proposal to
exclude children’s health services and youth justice from the

It adds that, if the government is not committed to an
inspectorate covering all children’s services, the “advantages of
splitting off our responsibilities to children from those of adults
are less than compelling”.

The consultation on A Single Inspectorate for Children and
Learners closes on 4 November.


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