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Ofsted inspections can be ‘catastrophic’ for children’s services

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Local government consultancy group Impower claims that the current system of inspections is outdated and could actually hinder the work of local children’s services.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.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    I expect these inspections are as popular as they are in schools. And in the ed. biz. the joke goes:

    What is the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and an OFSTED inspector?

    One tucks up features and the other . . .

  2. David Mortimer says:

    The problem with UK child protection policies is they are not evidence based. There is no specific legislation or regulations which require local authorities to collect & hold information on child abuse perpetrators or for them to use that information to formulate evidence based child protection policies.

    —– Original Message —–
    Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 3:15 PM
    Subject: RE: Whom do local authorities protect children from?

    Dear Mr Mortimer

    I refer to your email below, as well as to your email dated 13 May 2014, addressed to Debbie Jones.

    Thank you for writing to Ofsted. In answer to your question, I need to reiterate that irrespective of whether Ofsted is aware of a lack of legislation or regulations that require a local authority to collect and hold information on child abuse perpetrators, or to use such information to formulate their child protection policies, the fact of the matter is that Ofsted does not formulate the legislation which underpins this requirement.

    As stated in Debbie Jones’ letter to you of 12 December 2013, this is a matter for the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Education to look into, if, as you state, there is a need for legislation to be updated to further secure the safety of children and young people.

    I hope this response helps to clarify our position.

    Kind regards

    Dimitrios Gavrilakis | Correspondence and Project Officer | HMCI’s Private Office

    Ofsted, 8th Floor, Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6SE

    T. 0300 0130 940 | | W.

    Whom do local authorities protect children from? 28th December 2013

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