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‘Tough’ new inspection regime for children’s homes from April 2015

Inspections to focus on progress and experiences of children and young people.

A new inspection framework to improve standards in children's homes will take effect in April, Ofsted has confirmed.

The new framework, published alongside Ofsted's consultation responses, is intended to contribute to improving standards in children's homes across the country. Ofsted says that it puts the experiences of the most vulnerable children at the heart of how homes are regulated and assessed.

Following consultation with children's social care professionals, the majority of the responses supported Ofsted's proposals.

The consultation received 85 written submissions, supported by a number of well-attended regional events. Ofsted consulted directly with children and young people about a number of specific issues, and piloted the new inspection framework in nine children's homes.

From 1 April 2015, the inspection framework will include the following:

Debbie Jones, Ofsted's National Director for Social Care, said:

"Our new inspection framework aims to ensure that the most vulnerable children in our society are being well cared for and protected. It will assess whether children's homes are providing the best possible care, while improving children's life chances and helping them to successfully manage their lives as young adults.

"We want to see homes that know and understand the difference they are making in children and young people's lives. It is critical that those with the most complex needs are supported to have positive experiences and make progress. We want to celebrate those homes that are able to make this difference. We recognise that children and young people may have a range of different starting points but that will not stop us having high aspirations for them."

the new inspection framework is here. The consultation responses are here.