Hard on the heels of the much trumpeted, but in my view wrongheaded, government ‘reforms’ comes the latest state of play information from Ofsted.
Apparently Ofsted has informed BBC News that more than three-quarters of reports of inspections published between February 2014 and September 2015 found local authority children services in England to be in need of improvement.
19 out of 74 (just over a quarter) were judged to be ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors. 38 out of 74 (just over a half) were judged to ‘require improvement’. Only 17 out of 74 (just under a quarter) were judged to be ‘good’. None were judged to be ‘outstanding’.
The pie chart says it all.
With the government now prepared to give inspections such a pivotal role in determining the future of local authority children’s services, and with recent inspections seemingly revealing such a bleak picture, Ofsted should be required to provide a robust defence of the validity of its inspections. If, as I suspect, Ofsted has been getting it wrong and unnecessarily labeling some authorities ‘inadequate’, then viable organisations are now in danger of being unnecessarily dismantled and the services they provide needlessly turned over to untried newcomers.