Child Protection: DfES Finally Confirms Ofsted Will Lead On Safeguarding Reviews

The Department for Education and Skills has finally announced that Ofsted will be the body that must be informed of any safeguarding reviews. There had been confusion over who would take over the role when the responsibility for the inspection of children’s social services is switched from the Commission for Social Care Inspection to Ofsted on 1 April.

Dame Denise Platt, chair of the commission, told a conference at the end of February: “At present, you have a responsibility to report to the commission any serious incident involving a child and where a safeguarding review may take place. Discussions are continuing with Department for Education and Skills about who will receive these reports in future.”

Last week, Platt told Children Now she had still not heard who would be taking on the role and said that she was ‘disappointed’. “We keep raising this with the DfES. It is an important issue because there are things we need to transfer, and we need to know who to transfer to.” She added: “I am disappointed that we are two weeks away and no-one has been told.”

Ian Johnston, director of the British Association of Social Workers, said he was concer-ned because of the importance of local safeguarding children boards. “It concerns me greatly because we don’t feel the transfer of responsibility has been properly thought through,” he said.

Confirming the responsibility was going to Ofsted, a spokesman for the DfES said: “Ofsted and the DfES are setting out the new arrangements clearly for local authorities and local safeguarding children boards.”

Letters will be going out to local authorities this week, just two weeks before the handover. Meanwhile Roger Morgan, the children’s rights director for England, has issued one of his final reports before his move to Ofsted. In a survey of looked-after children on England’s care he found children want to have more say in important decisions.