Venue: Meeting Rooms 1 and 2, Shire Hall, Gloucester
Contact: Andrea Clarke 01452 324203
Declarations of interest
Please see note (a) at the end of agenda.
No declarations of interest were received.
A Senior Ofsted Inspector will be in attendance to inform the committee on the Ofsted Inspection Framework.
The Chair of the Improvement Board, will be in attendance to inform the committee on the work of the Improvement Board.
The Children’s Improvement Plan is included in the agenda for ease of reference.
This is the link to the Ofsted webpage https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted.
The committee was pleased to welcome Shirley Bailey (Senior HMI Ofsted), Paula Lahey (Regulatory Inspection Manager Ofsted), and John Goldup (Children’s Services Intervention Advisor appointed by the Department for Education and Chair of the Improvement Board), to the meeting to inform and engage with members.
20.1 Ofsted Inspection Process
20.1.1 The Senior HMI described the Ofsted single inspection process in detail so that members had a clear understanding of the process and the methodology, particularly relating to how data was used. This included:-
· Data covering the previous 18 months was used in an inspection; old data could distort the picture of how a service was performing
· The Lead Inspector chose 20 cases for the local authority (LA) to audit, and during the inspection an additional 6 cases were also identified for audit
· The inspection team spoke with a wide range of stakeholders including foster carers, staff, elected members, the Children in Care Council and care leavers
· As well as the 26 cases the inspection team also looked at external placements, adoption, care leavers, children at the beginning of their care journey, children missing, children at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
· Social work practice was observed
· There were regular feedback sessions with the Director of Children’s Services (DCS)
20.1.2 The committee was informed that given the regular feedback that was built into the inspection process the final judgement should not be a surprise. There was a rigorous process of quality assurance.
20.1.3 The committee was informed that the Ofsted Regional Director attended the final judgement meeting (where the LA rating would be agreed) with the inspection team. This meeting was also an opportunity for challenge and question particularly where the judgement was not clear cut.
20.1.4 The committee noted that when an LA was found to be inadequate this meant that the concerns were widespread/serious. It was also noted that if one of the major strands was judged as inadequate then it would be unusual for the leadership not to be seen as inadequate.
20.1.5 The committee asked the Senior HMI for a view on how the committee could improve its scrutiny of this area. It was questioned whether it would be helpful for the committee to receive the information included in Annex A of the inspection pack. One member referred to the members’ Corporate Parent Pledge, and explained that some members were reluctant to sign this as they did not have direct access to the children and young people.
20.1.6 In response the Senior HMI explained that she did not think that receiving Annex A would be helpful although an analysis might be, but she suspected that the committee already received much of this information. The DCS informed the committee that, for corporate parents, there were events that elected members were invited to in order to meet the council’s children in care. The member indicated that he had attended these events but did not feel that they had helped him identify the concerns raised by ... view the full minutes text for item 20.