Earlier this year in July, childcare and education minister Sam Gyimah announced that he will be consulting on the future of children’s centres. The consultation will include a discussion of what accountability framework is needed to best demonstrate their effect. In light of this, the DfE have agreed with Ofsted to pause the children’s centre inspection cycle, pending the outcome of the consultation. They do not think it is appropriate to continue to inspect under a framework that may be subject to change.
This means that any children’s centre inspections due in the 2015 to 2016 academic year under sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Children’s Centre (Inspections) Regulations 2010 will not now take place until after the conclusion of the consultation.
Children’s Centres are expected to continue their work as usual during this pause, including collecting and monitoring of data in preparation for inspection. Ofsted will continue inspection of early years provision on the site of children’s centres as part of the new Common Inspection Framework, and will also continue to respond swiftly to any complaints or safeguarding concerns in children’s centres.