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Please see the response from Ofsted about the concerns we raised in regards to the recent Point in Time Survey

Dear SG&AT Management Team

Please see our responses to you questions raised below. 

  1. Special guardians are not mentioned at all in the promotional information about this survey from Ofsted. Does Ofsted value the views of special guardians?

Currently, the point-in-time questionnaires are not targeted at special guardians.

We do look at the effectiveness of special guardianship arrangements when we inspect local authority children’s services and, during these inspections, we have the opportunity to speak to potential and existing special guardians.

We will, however, shortly be reviewing the surveys’ scope and content of our surveys. We will be sure to consider providing an opportunity for special guardians to tell us about their experiences via a point-in-time survey. Thank you very much for raising this issue. We’ll let you know of any developments as soon as possible.

  1. The deadline for the survey is fast approaching (17th Aug), yet it seems many potential respondents have not been informed about the Survey/Questionnaire by their LA

We ask all providers, including local authorities, to distribute the surveys on our behalf. This is because we don’t hold individual contact details for all people we want to hear from. We also publicise the surveys as much as possible, including on our website and via social media. We encourage providers to publicise our surveys too. Whilst the deadline for completion of the online survey is 17 August, we are very happy to receive feedback about any provider after this date: feedback can be emailed to us (in any format) to enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk. We would then share the information with the relevant inspectors.

  1. Contacting Ofsted to try to provide input is a frustrating experience – one is left hanging on the phone with no response.

We are sorry that that your experience of our contact centre was not satisfactory. We will raise this with the contact centre managers. If you have any problems in future contacting us by phone, you can email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk or contact the social care policy team directly at socialcare@ofsted.gov.uk.

  1. It is unclear whether respondents should refer to the child’s placing LA or the LA with a duty of care after 3 year transition of responsibility.

 We have we have two possible surveys for adopters. There is one survey for those who adopted within the last 12 months (to tell us about the placing agency) and another survey for adults who adopted more than 12 months ago and are receiving adoption support (to tell us about the agency that is providing that support)). We include this explanation in our guidance for providers.

  1. Tracking down the URN for the LA is not straightforward – could Ofsted provide this information on their website if they require it?

 We ask for the URN when individuals are contacting us about a particular setting or agency as this helps us to identify the correct provision. This is because some settings and agencies have very similar, or the same, names. However, we understand for local authority agencies this is less of an issue as their names are unique. We will remind colleagues in future that if we have been provided with the name of a local authority agency, we don’t require their URN.