HMI Probation drops out of joint targeted area inspections

Fiona Simpson
Friday, April 8, 2022

HMI Probation will no longer take part in the joint targeted area inspections (JTAI) programme which monitors services for vulnerable children.

Ofsted has announced the resumption of its JTAI programme. Picture: Adobe Stock
Ofsted has announced the resumption of its JTAI programme. Picture: Adobe Stock

The inspections look at how local services work together to support vulnerable children and include joint inspections of child protection arrangements (JICPA).

HMI Probation has taken part in the programme since 2016 alongside the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

However, from 1 April, it will no longer be involved, instead shifting focus to core and thematic inspections of youth justice and probation services until at least the end of the year.

The inspectorate said in a statement that it “remains committed to ensuring high-quality services for vulnerable children across England and Wales”. 

“We will continue to share learning, with Ofsted, from our inspection findings and as part of the steering groups for the JTAI and JICPA programmes.

“A decision on resuming our contribution to these programmes in 2023/24 will be made at the end of 2022.”

Meanwhile, Ofsted, the CQC and HMICFRS have resumed the JTAI programme, which has undergone a restructure after being paused due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

The inspectorates will now carry out two types of JTAI:

New guidance will be published each year when the focus of future thematic JTAIs is announced, Ofsted has said. 

The new frameworks are planned to build on the joint inspection methodology used in Solihull in January, following the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and “are more focused to allow the inspectorates to deliver inspections with less burden on local safeguarding partnerships”, the inspectorate added.

HMI Probation is listed as being involved in the Solihull inspection report.

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s national director for Social Care, said: “Restarting our JTAIs is a significant milestone. Joint inspections play such an important role in identifying areas for improvement and sharing good practice about how local agencies work together to help and protect children.

“The new joint inspections of the ‘front door’ of child protection will give us an even stronger understanding of how multi-agency safeguarding arrangements allow local leaders and professionals to work together to identify and respond to children at risk of harm. And the thematic inspections will provide a clear insight into how areas respond to the specific risks children face, starting with child criminal exploitation.”

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