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Children in Care: Standards

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will ensure that Ofsted involve young people with experience of care in its inspecting of care homes. (142311)

This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to my hon. Friend and a copy of her reply has been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 15 June 2007:

Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, for reply.

You asked whether Ofsted would ensure that young people with experience of care are involved in its inspection of care homes.

Ofsted involves young people by seeking their views during inspection and through highly focused surveys and consultation exercises. Seeking the views of young people is part of the statutory duties of the new Ofsted and developing this further is explicitly outlined in our new Strategic Plan.

Following the expansion of our remit in April this year, Ofsted is working hard to bring together the very best from all four predecessor organisations. At this stage, we are focusing on creating a high quality inspection programme across our expanded remit. We are also looking to incorporate the changes made to the National Minimum Standards and develop this work further over the next few years. This development work will include a range and choice of different methods for all children in inspected services to feed in their views about inspection outcomes.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Jim Knight MP, Minister of State for Schools, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.