Ofsted publishes new inspection plans

Ofsted has published its revised plans on inspection of safeguarding and looked-after children, including unannounced inspections of child protection services in every local authority.

The new programme of inspection was published yesterday alongside details of how the watchdog intends to conduct inspections and calculate ratings for children’s services in each authority under the new Comprehensive Area Assessment.

All local authority areas will have at least one inspection of safeguarding and looked after children services in the three-year period following 1 April 2009. This will include an unannounced inspection, focusing on the quality of frontline social work.

Inspections will begin in June, and will be carried out by Ofsted inspectors and the Care Quality Commission, as well as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate Constabulary where needed.

Ofsted has moved to make inspections of safeguarding stronger after assessing services in the light of what happened to Baby P, and the ensuing report on child protection conducted by Lord Laming.

Chief Inspector Christine Gilbert said: “These new frameworks for assessing children’s services rightly have inspection of front line practice at their heart, paving the way for better and more effective services.”