Headlines: September 15th, 2006



Ofsted – the Office for Standards in Education – is claiming today that its inspections and interventions have led to improvements in ten thousand childcare places that were previously found to be inadequate. As a result of its actions, it says in a new report, the places are now satisfactory or better.

The report “Making a difference: how Ofsted inspections improved inadequate care for children”, shows that a large majority of care providers that were judged to be inadequate between April last year and this June had improved by the time they were inspected again. In that 15 month period 1,100 of the 32,000 providers inspected by Ofsted were judged to be inadequate and that means they will face a second inspection within a year, or more promptly in cases of more serious shortcomings.

Ofsted says that by the end of June it had revisited 490 previously inadequate providers and 87 per cent of them had successfully carried out the actions specified by the Office and were judged to be satisfactory or better. On that basis Ofsted says, its intervention means an estimated 10,000 children in these previously inadequate settings now get at least satisfactory care.

Just 61 providers – 13 per cent – remained inadequate and in those cases Ofsted took immediate action to secure improvement. Compliance notices were served on 17 providers and actions for improvement were set for the others. Of those issued with compliance notices, 16 now comply with the standards and one has resigned. One hundred and eighty inadequate providers resigned their registration ahead of the re-inspections and Ofsted cancelled the registration of 11 others.

This, it says, resulted in a loss of childcare places but they were of poor quality and Ofsted believes its actions ensured that children were removed from the risk of harm. In issuing the details of improvements, Ofsted says today that its quest for high standards will go on and it will continue to set recommendations for the childcare providers who are now judged to be satisfactory or good as it believes there is always room for improvement.