This summer, as the lead agency for child protection, the local authority is expecting to receive an unannounced Ofsted inspection of safeguarding and child protection practices under Ofsted's new inspection framework. These inspections will consider how effectively the local authority leads partnership working, and how effectively local services contribute to the protection of children and young people.
As you are aware, child protection does not begin at the point of referral to children's social care. Early identification and early help are firmly within the scope of the inspection of child protection services. A key part of the inspection framework Ofstedwill be considering the effectiveness of these services in identifying children and young people who may be at risk, and the degree to which agencies work together to identify problems and offer effective help early, without the need for a formal referral to social care.
We do some fantastic work in Staffordshire and your role is vital in enabling us to get a positive result. You will be hearing much more about how you can prepare for the inspection from your manager. The following link allows County Council staff to prepare for an Ofsted inspection.
Top Tips for Inspection (SCC staff only)
At the moment this link is only accessible to County Council Staff but access for our partner agencies will be available very soon.
The following documents may assist in understanding the inspection process as well as providing some tips on what inspectors may want to see:
Inspection of the arrangements for the protection of children: evaluation schedule and grade descriptors
Conducting inspections of local authority arrangements for the protection of children.
Ofsted have also produced a guide that tells children and young people about the new way of inspecting how local councils protect children.
How Ofsted inspects arrangements to protect children - children's and young person's guide
All of the above, and more, can be found on the Ofsted website.
Good practice by Local Safeguarding Children Board