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Children's Centres: Inspections

Question for Department for Education

UIN 124199, tabled on 22 January 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timetable is for Ofsted to resume inspections of children's centres.

Answered on

25 January 2018

Children’s centre inspections are suspended. There was widespread agreement at the time that they were not fit for purpose. As indicated in the letter of 25 September 2015 to HM Chief Inspector of Education, the Secretary of State for Education retains the ability to require Ofsted to undertake inspections and Ofsted itself retains the ability to inspect children’s centres if concerns are raised. The letter can also be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sure-start-childrens-centre-inspections-sam-gyimah-letter.

This suspension should not affect the normal activity of children’s centres and we expect them to continue their work to improve the outcomes for children and families in local areas. Registered early years provision within children’s centres will continue to be inspected by Ofsted as part of the Common Inspection Framework.

The department does not hold a list of children’s centres that have not received five-year inspections as a result of the suspension. However, this information can be derived from publicly available data. Records of Ofsted inspections of children’s centres and children’s centre groups carried out between 2010 and 2015, including a list of names and addresses and the date of the last inspection are at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/childrens-centres-statistics. Real-time data on the current list of children’s centres and children’s centre groups including names and address is supplied by local authorities via the Get Information about Schools (GIAS) database portal at: https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/.

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