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Making a difference: How Ofsted inspections improved inadequate care for children

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Government of Great Britain. Office of Standards in Education.
government document
Publication Date: 
15 Sep 2006


In April 2005 Ofsted started its third cycle of inspections to the National Standards, using a new inspection framework. During the 15 months from April 2005 to June 2006, Ofsted judged 1,100 care providers to be inadequate. Though at 3% this is a very small minority of the providers inspected, it is clearly not good enough for those children and their families that use these providers.

This report shows the impact of inspection on improving the quality of care for those children. Making our findings public helps parents of children in inadequate care provision to realise that their children not only deserve better, but that they could also, with effort from the provider, have an improved quality of care.

In most cases where Ofsted judged provision as inadequate, we gave providers actions to help them focus on what mattered most to bring about rapid improvement. We inspected these providers again within a year and found that, of the 490 re-inspected by June 2006, a very large majority of inadequate providers had carried out the actions and improved to a satisfactory standard or even better.

Where we judged care to be so poor that children were at risk of harm, or providers were unwilling or unable to change, our inspections helped encourage some of these inadequate providers to resign. In other cases, Ofsted took more serious action such as canceling their registration.