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
    paramount.”

    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
    inspectorate.

    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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