Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Ofsted and the ever-growing list of failed authorities

I have just been reading in Children and Young People Now about Ofsted’s report on child protection services in Buckinghamshire, which is described as ‘damning’. The authority was found to be inadequate with the lowest possible rating across the board for looked-after children, child protection and care leaver services.

In July Ofsted also found Knowsley inadequate.

The same round of ‘single assessment framework’ inspections has also found Birmingham and Coventry and Slough to be ‘inadequate’.

Looking at the report on Buckinghamshire the word ‘under-resourced’ comes to mind.
It mentions high caseloads and lots of unallocated cases, resulting in poor record keeping and poor services.

I can’t help wondering what the effects of Ofsted’s ever-growing list of failures are. The problems authorities are experiencing are not particularly unusual; if you don’t resource services properly you are unlikely to get high quality! Yet the cumulative effect of all this disruptive and expensive inspection doesn’t seem to be an open acknowledgement that better resourcing is required. Rather inspectors march on to point the finger of blame at the next ‘inadequate’ council, apparently without anybody drawing the simple overall conclusions.