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Number of local authority-run children’s homes decreases

The number of children’s homes in the private and voluntary sector has increased, while the number of local-authority run residential homes for children has decreased, the latest statistics reveal.

Ofsted’s report showed that between 1 April and 31 August 2021, there was a net increase of 69 homes representing a 3% increase from 2,707 to 2,776. This was a result of 120 new registrations and 51 voluntary resignations.

There was an increase in the number of homes in both the private and the voluntary sector – a 3% rise which equates to 71 new homes in the private sector and a 3% rise in the voluntary sector of 4 new homes.

However, there was a small net decrease in local authority-run homes, with 6 new registrations and 12 de-registrations in the period. This includes 1 de-registered home that was run by an organisation that provides the children’s services function of the local authority, such as a trust.

Out of 2,776 active children’s homes as at 31 August 2021, 2,381 (86%) had an inspection judgement. Of those, 79% of homes were judged good or outstanding, 17% were judged requires improvement to be good and 4% were judged inadequate at their most recent inspection.

Overall, 79% of children’s homes were judged to be good or outstanding at August 2021, down from 82% at 31 August 2019. The London region, however, saw an increase in the proportion of homes judged good or outstanding of 7 percentage points. This increase was because most (19 out of 26) of the new children’s homes in London that were inspected between April and August 2021 were judged good at their first full inspection.

Children’s homes run by the voluntary sector performed better than those in the local authority sector and privately owned homes. However, the government statistics warm that because the dataset is small, conclusions should be treated with caution.

At 31 August 2021, 85% of voluntary-run homes were judged good or outstanding, compared with 77% of homes in the local authority sector and 79% of homes in the private sector.

While local authorities had the lowest proportion of children’s homes judged good or outstanding, they had the highest proportion of outstanding children’s homes (22%). However, they also had a slightly higher proportion of inadequate homes (6%).

Main findings: Local authority and children’s homes in England inspections and outcomes - autumn 2021

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