*All references to years are to financial years, beginning 1st April and ending 31st March
The law required that every children’s home was inspected at least twice a year. Inspection body was then the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
The law required that every children’s home was inspected at least twice a year. Inspection body now Ofsted.
The law required that every children’s home was inspected at least twice a year.
The law was changed so that children’s homes which were judged overall as good or outstanding, and then in their next inspection were not judged overall as less than good, could be inspected at least once (instead of twice) the following year.
Changes did not apply to secure children’s homes; they continue to be inspected twice a year.
2021 (Current position)
Children’s homes judged good or outstanding can be inspected just once a year
The law was further amended so that children’s homes which are judged overall as good or outstanding are only required to have one inspection that year (the Chief Inspector may decide to undertake more). (The 2017 changes had required two consecutive positive inspections before only one inspection the following year was permitted).
Time period for two inspections is extended for children’s homes judged as less than good
The law was changed giving Ofsted’s Chief Inspector flexibility over children’s homes which are judged overall as less than good, when an inspection has occurred on or after the 1st January, and there has not been two inspections that year. If the Chief Inspector is unable to arrange the next inspection by the end of March that year, it can be undertaken within the first three months of the following year. So, for example, if the first of two inspections of the year 2021/22 (April 2021 to end March 2022) took place mid-January 2022, the second inspection can now take place during April, May or June 2022.
This means that, where there was once a requirement that children’s homes judged overall as less than good had to be inspected twice in a 12-month period (a requirement that applied to all children’s homes between 2004 and 2017), the minimum requirement is now two inspections in a 15-month period.
Secure children’s homes continue to be inspected twice a year.