Children’s services directors call for spot check halt

Children’s services directors have called for a halt of spot checks in the wake of the Baby Peter case because they believe them to be unfair.

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services accused Ofsted, which is tasked with inspections, of using inspectors who are not sufficiently trained.

Reports suggest that of the first nine councils subjected to the unannounced checks, ‘serious concerns’ were reported in six of them. But critics say these concerns related to paperwork errors.

The new spot checks began last month but the ADCS claims they are too short to get a clear picture.

The ADCS also claims Ofsted’s inspectors are not talking to enough social workers and argues that checks should be stopped until its concerns are addressed.

It also says the timescales mean judgements are based on processes and data rather than on quality of service.

Baby Peter died in 2007 aged 17 months after suffering more than 50 separate injuries. He suffered a catalogue of abuse despite being seen by various health and social care professionals.

Ofsted told the BBC that all staff carrying out the inspections are fully qualified and that the two day visits do allow them to observe frontline practice.