Children & Young People Now reports that Ofsted has been accused of “moving the goalposts” governing no-notice safeguarding inspections without consulting councils, heightening hostility between children’s services chiefs and the watchdog. Councils that get an “area for priority action” rating in a spot check are now likely to be graded as “performing poorly” in their annual children’s services rating, despite the fact that up to one in four councils have yet to be inspected in the first phase of checks. Until now, an area for priority action judgment would not necessarily drag down an authority’s overall score.
Speaking in an interview with Children & Young People Now, the outgoing president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services warned the changes create an uneven playing field. “We were told the inspection framework would be reviewed at the end of the first cycle [in June]. Now they’re going to move the goalposts,” said Kim Bromley-Derry.