Thursday, 5 February 2015

Ofsted and Rotherham

It is very difficult to square Louise Casey's findings with Ofsted's repeated failures in its inspections of Rotherham to spot the widespread sexual exploitation of young people in the town. Rotherham's council is described in Casey's report as 'not fit for purpose'. Ofsted described it as adequate.

In January Ofsted admitted that it's inspections had not been good enough.

I think this is all part of a fundamental problem with the inspection of child protection services. An organisation like Ofsted seems to me to be ill suited to the task. In my view 'inspection' of child protection should be more investigative and research based. It needs to bring expertise and knowledge to the organisations inspected, not just a superficial examination of whether rules are being followed. And, of course, it needs to be focused on improvements in both the quality and safety of the service.

I think it is time to move on. The government needs to organise a root and branch review of the arrangements for inspection which I think would result in taking the responsibility for inspecting child protection away from Ofsted.