New Ofsted children’s services inspection regime confirmed

Ofsted publishes its inspection framework ahead of New Year rollout

Photo: mizar_21894/Fotolia

Ofsted has published the framework for its new inspection regime ahead of a full rollout in January 2018.

As part of the regime, authorities will be asked to evaluate the quality and impact of their social work practice, as well as have a formal yearly conversation with Ofsted about performance.

The data and meetings will help inform how and when each authority is inspected, Ofsted said.

The inspectorate said the new approach would be “more proportionate, risk-based and flexible than before,” and would allow it to prioritise inspection “where it is most needed”.


The new inspection regime has been piloted over the past year, and the final arrangements are:

Short inspections: Authorities judged to be ‘good’ or better will be inspected for a one-week short inspection every three year

Standard inspections: Authorities judge to be ‘requires improvement to be good’ will be inspected for two weeks every three years

Monitoring visits: Authorities rated ‘inadequate’ will be visited quarterly. Those rated ‘inadequate’ across all or most areas will repeat a full single inspection, while local authorities with only some areas ‘inadequate’ may be subject to a ‘post-monitoring single inspection’, which is a shorter inspection under the single inspection framework

Focused visits: Authorities rated above ‘inadequate’ will receive at least one focused visit between their short or standard inspections.

Ofsted’s national director for social care, Eleanor Schooling, said the new approach is focused on the experiences of children and families.

“More frequent contact is all about identifying what is working well and catching local authorities before they fall. We want to help authorities improve the support they provide for vulnerable children and their families,” Schooling said.

“We have worked closely with sector leaders in developing this new approach, and I am pleased with the positive feedback we’ve received. This is a step forward for inspection that I hope will make a genuine and positive impact on children’s lives.”

Read more commentary on the new inspection framework from Eleanor Schooling.

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2 Responses to New Ofsted children’s services inspection regime confirmed

  1. Paul Redacted November 29, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    No way – basically score yourself as good and you wont be inspected very often and when you are you can pick the cases that we look at. We will tell you when we are coming and bring the donuts and coffee

    Perhaps the IICSA could look at making some recommendations. I would like to see A CQC style inspection. Its not perfect but far more robust than this.

    Also ask in schools what the SS departments are like when it comes to safeguarding.

  2. Ralph Linton November 30, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    I left socialwork and social care because of increased red tape, a lack of vision and leadership within the sector, unrealistic and unworkable expectations from ofsted. Within social care the level of funding to provide services to children of 5000 per week for a 2000 service. Ofsted will continue in ” fantasy socialworker” suppose it keeps them in work!
    Fundamentally micro examination of care home costs would no doubt free up a substantial sum which could be diverted to other services. It is no wonder that the care homes sector profits are used for impressive pension pots as well as fund generous lifestyles of the money grabbing owners.