Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech

Care Leavers – Both Sir Michael Wilshaw and Eleanor Schooling focused on Care Leavers in their speeches noting a lack of data about what happens and a lack of systems to provide continuity and quality of support. In the subsequent Q&A there was a discussion as to whether adult transition might be a better term for this process.

Case Loads – Eleanor Schooling stated inspection has impacted helpfully on case allocation. In her view, there is a growing consensus around what is reasonable and achievable.

Children in Need – both speakers suggested further service development was necessary to identify and intervene at the children in need level and that this might impact on numbers of children looked after. They also both stated that overall, services for LAC were of a significantly higher quality.

Eleanor Schooling stated Next Year’s focus will be on

  • Missing Children
  • Disabled children
  • Older children and care leavers

Contrasting Good and Outstanding LAs with inadequate LAs to illuminate processes underpinning improvement. Both speakers regularly referenced practice in good authorities and contrasted it with inadequate authorities. When asked whether they might name inadequate leaders as well as authorities Sir Michael Wilshaw said “he was tempted”.

Leadership – both speakers viewed quality and continuity of leadership as pivotal drivers of improvement, this was echoed by David Hoare (chair) who suggested that the appointment of Amanda Spielmann as chief inspector was based in her focus on leadership.

Consultation on Future of Social Care Inspection Eleanor Schooling launched consultation to develop framework to ensure inspection process improves practice. She aspired to design a framework that catches people before they fall rather than catches people when they have fallen.

Patrick Butler, Guardian correspondent asked Ofsted’s view re reduction of social work duties in children and social work bill, this was the closest the discussion got to potential changes in role of IRO, I felt their response was fundamentally not to comment until the bill has been passed.

Mark Waddington June 2016