A new report has suggested that Ofsted inspections can have a “catastrophic” effect on a local authority’s children’s services.
Local government consultancy group Impower claims that the current system of inspections is outdated and could actually hinder the work of local children’s services.
When a local authority is branded “inadequate” by Ofsted, it “can have a catastrophic spiralling effect” which could turn “a poorly performing authority into a broken one”, their report said. The number of those with such a rating is very high. According to the latest official analysis, 75 per cent of local authorities are underperforming.
The report claims that there are “fundamental weaknesses in the current model of children’s services”, which are not being addressed by the current Ofsted inspection standards.
Author Amanda Kelly claimed that increasing demands from the inspectorate coupled with an increase in family breakdown has become a “volatile mix”.
In a statement, Ofsted said that they “make no apology for carrying out robust inspections of local authority services on behalf of the children and young people who use them.”
The report echoes the sentiments of shadow children’s minister Steve McCabe, who last week said that Ofsted had “lost touch” with the realities of the care system.