Ofsted Annual Report

Highlights from the 2017/18 report relating to Safeguarding


InspectionOn Tuesday (4th December), Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's Chief Inspector, launched their annual report.

Some of the headline findings highlighted by Ms Spielman included:

  • 95% of early years providers are at least good
  • as are 86% of schools
  • and 76% of general FE colleges
  • and 82% of children’s homes
  • and, the number of local authorities judged good or outstanding for children’s social care continues to rise
  • While the report praises the progress that has been made, it also acknowledges that there is still much work to do, and four key themes were identified:

  • the first is the crucial importance of getting the basics of education and care right
  • the second is our concerns about the impact of lack of capacity in certain areas and its effect on standards and rates of improvement
  • the third is the danger of expecting schools to become a panacea for all of society’s ills
  • and the last is the importance of focusing on the substance of education and care
  • Of course, all areas of education were discussed in the report, however, we will today pinpoint just a couple of the areas specifically relating to safeguarding.

    Knife Crime and Gangs
    Two of the more worrying areas of safeguarding now dominating concerns (and indeed the media), are knife crime and the criminal exploitation of children.

    The report identifies that both these areas are on the rise, but that schools are teaching children how to stay safe. It recognises that these issues cannot be tackled by schools alone and must be supported by external agencies such as the police, health services and LAs etc.

    Schools at risk of poor quality safeguarding
    The report identified a number of settings where safeguarding arrangements were potentially at risk. These included unregistered schools as they "can evade scrutiny of safeguarding practices". Where unregistered schools had been inspected, 35% were identified as having safeguarding or health and safety issues.

    Other groups of schools identified were independent schools (with 10% having ineffective safeguarding arrangements) and secure training units.

    Also, and somewhat surprisingly, schools who are currently graded as outstanding are on the 'at risk' list. Due to the exemption from inspection, some of these schools have not been inspected for over 10 years, leaving Ofsted with a lack of clarity on the quality of continuing safeguarding practices in these schools. While poor performance data will trigger an inspection, there is no such trigger for safeguarding. And in schools which fell from outstanding to inadequate, safeguarding is typically not effective.

    You can read the speech delivered by Amanda Spielman here or the full annual report here, and you can let us know your thoughts on the report using the comments section below.

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on December 06, 2018 14:59


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