Inspecting local authority children’s services: Ofsted and the role of children’s services scrutiny

Posted on 31/05/2023 by Admin.

Report author: Camilla de Bernhardt Lane

This paper aims to support the work of non-Executive Councillors who are involved in the business of local authority Children’s Scrutiny. It is written to be applied to all Councils regardless of their Ofsted judgement and to provoke further thought and discussion on how Scrutiny can best support and provide critical friend challenge to upper-tier authorities to ensure that all Children who come under the help, protection and care of local authorities receive the best possible experience.

The chapters in this paper can be used as stand-alone guidance, depending upon the local situation.

This paper was informed by a roundtable discussion held with almost forty Scrutiny practitioners discussing the role and approach of Scrutiny when working with the ILACS framework and hearing from Ofsted about the best ways of working. The roundtable was held on the 24th March 2023.

There was a good spread of representatives from across authorities and from those working with a range of Ofsted grades (21% outstanding, 36% good, 21% requires improvement and 21% inadequate, with one authority being inspected at the time of the roundtable).