Ofsted to inspect councils on child sexual exploitation

By Neil Puffett

| 12 September 2014

A group of local authorities will face Ofsted inspections on the way they deal with child sexual exploitation (CSE) in a bid to ensure services are up to scratch in the wake of the Rotherham scandal, CYP Now can reveal.

Ofsted has said it will inspect eight local authorities on how they respond to child sexual exploitation. Picture: Phil Adams

Under plans drawn up by the regulator following the publication of professor Alexis Jay’s damning report last month, eight authorities will be subject to a thematic review inspection on how they deal with the issue.

Debbie Jones, Ofsted’s director for social care, told CYP Now that three of the CSE inspections will take place at authorities already scheduled to have an imminent unannounced inspection of their children’s services.

A further five authorities will be selected to have a standalone CSE inspection.

Jones said Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has been “very clear” that he wants “further focus” on young people who have been sexually exploited.

“We recognise that thematic reviews shine a light and we want to look at this in more depth.”

Inspectors will examine how cases of CSE have progressed through the system, as well as assessing strategic planning on the issue.

Jones stresses that the inspections will not be a “hunt for the worst”.

“Above all else, what we would want to see is good practice as well as where things are not going well,” she said.

Yesterday it was announced that the government’s troubled families tsar Louise Casey will conduct an investigation into Rotherham Council.

The action came after a report commissioned by Rotherham Council, published last month, estimated that 1,400 children were sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013, and was highly critical of the response of police and child protection agencies.

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