User focus could be target of inspectors

Ofsted could be required to show it is taking account of a high number of service users’ views by 2010 in order to meet its performance targets, it said last week

The inspectorate, which took over inspecting children’s social care this month, has proposed several targets for 2010 against which its performance could be measured.

Stakeholders, including the NSPCC, have raised concerns that Ofsted may not be able to adopt the Commission for Social Care Inspection’s focus on service users.

Other proposed targets include an increase in the proportion of services Ofsted inspects that were adequate but have improved to good, improved stability in the placements of looked-after children and reduced turnover among care staff.

The targets are proposed in Ofsted’s strategic plan for 2007-10. The plan also sets out six priorities for Ofsted including better outcomes, improved inspection and regulation and better value.

Ofsted also said it will reduce its overall costs to £186m in 2008-9, 30 per cent lower than the £266m spent in 2003-4 by the inspectorates whose work Ofsted now carries out, in line with government savings targets.

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  Amy Taylor



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