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Inspectors to Spend More Time with Social Workers
A new inspection framework has been introduced allowing Ofsted inspectors to spend more time with social workers on the frontline.
According to Ofsted’s social care chief, Eleanor Schooling, the new regime, which is currently being piloted, will be “less interested in high level plans” and focused more on “how social workers are helping children and families on the ground”. She continues to say that the framework has been designed to allow inspectors to see whether or not leaders within the profession are creating an environment where “social work can flourish”.
Pilot inspections have already begun to show positive findings, with one inspection showing social workers recording children’s thoughts, wishes and feelings, Schooling declared.
The inspection of local authority children’s services (ILACS), won’t formally start until January 2018 but the framework that reinforces the regime will be published towards the end of 2017.
Another change to come off the back of the new regime will allow Ofsted to use local authority audits of practice to help determine when inspections are necessary. From this, local authorities will be required to answer the following:
Moreover, the regime will also change how a children’s service that has been rated as ‘requires improvement’ is inspected. They will now either receive a ‘standard’ inspection which would be based on two weeks’ field work, or a ‘short’ inspection, based on one week’s field work. If a council has be rated as inadequate, the current system of four quarterly monitoring visits, followed by a full re-inspection will be implemented.
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