A joint inspection on Child Sexual Exploitation (cse) by Ofsted and other agencies is to be completed by the summer, the inspectorate has announced.
Under the new inspection regime, Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HMIC and HMIP will assess how well agencies work together to identify, support and protect vulnerable young people.
The new Joint Targeted Area Inspections of services for vulnerable children and young people (JTAI) will be launched this year. From next month, all four inspectorates will jointly assess how local authorities, police, health, probation and youth offending services work together.
Each inspection will include a ‘deep dive’ element, with the first set, to be completed by summer 2016, focusing on children at risk of sexual exploitation and those missing from home, school or care.
Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, Eleanor Schooling said: “The responsibility of safeguarding cannot rest with one agency alone. These new inspections will provide a comprehensive picture of how several agencies work together in an area to ensure children are safe. This is an important step forward for inspection.
“The joint approach will allow us to act swiftly where we are concerned about specific issues in an area so we can ensure that every agency is doing its part. Equally, it will give us an important opportunity to look at good practice and really understand how local areas are tackling the challenges they face. We are confident these inspections will support improvement and have a positive impact on the experiences of children and young people,” she added.
It is aimed that the new short inspections will allow inspectorates to be more responsive, targeting specific areas of interest and concern. They will also identify areas for improvement and highlight good practice from which others can learn.
The report will include narrative findings that clearly set out what the local partnership and agencies are doing well, and what they need to do to improve. A thematic overview report will also be published to highlight the learning more widely and this will replace Ofsted’s current thematic inspection programme.
From February, Ofsted will also be able to carry out its own targeted inspections of local authorities and Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs). Used alongside current inspections of local authorities, Ofsted Targeted Local Authority Inspections will allow the inspectorate, if necessary, to act proportionately and responsively in areas where risks are identified.
The new approach was consulted on in July 2015 and over 200 responses were received from those working in the children’s social care, health, police, probation and youth offending services. The inspections were successfully piloted in December last year.