Ofsted to revise children’s inspection frameworks

Ofsted plans to revise its frameworks for inspection of children’s social care remits over the next 12 to 18 months.

In the first issue of its social care newsletter, Ofsted said the revised frameworks would include children’s homes, residential family centres, fostering, adoption, local authority private fostering arrangements and welfare provision in boarding schools and residential special schools.

The move follows the appointment of John Goldup as the new head of the social care development directorate. He said social care providers would be consulted about the revisions and the views heard of children and young people who use social care services.

Kim Bromley-Derry, president of ADCS, said he felt it was strange the review would not coincide with the Audit Commission’s review of CAA [comprehensive area assessment], due to report in the spring. “Joining up inspection across public services is key and the opportunity to do this better must not be lost,” he said.

Deeper engagement

Jon Richards, Unison senior national officer for Ofsted, said any revision of inspections ought to include deeper engagement with frontline social workers.

“We want the social care staff doing the reports to meet practitioners and take time to talk to them about what they do,” he said.

Hilton Dawson, chief executive of BASW, called on Ofsted to support social workers spend less time on paperwork.

“A huge part of the problem at the moment to which Ofsted contributes is that social workers spend 80% of their time serving the bureaucratic machine and just 20% doing their jobs,” he said. “If they’re revising that aspect of the inspections, I welcome it.”

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