Ofsted and children’s services: what performance indicators and other factors are associated with better inspection results?
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Abstract‘Failing’ an Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) inspection has severe consequences for a local authority. Senior managers may lose their jobs and the workforce as a whole can be destabilised. In extreme cases, central government can decide the authority is no longer capable of running children’s services. On the other hand, receiving positive Ofsted judgements often brings with it a national reputation for excellence. This study reports the findings of an analysis of key performance indicators, expenditure and deprivation in relation to Ofsted inspections for eighty-seven local authorities in England undertaken between 2014 and 2016. Our aim was to examine the association between these factors and Ofsted judgements. Our findings suggest that, for most of the factors we considered, there is no clear pattern of better or worse performance between local authorities with different Ofsted ratings. However, ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ authorities tend to outperform other authorities in relation to some procedural variables. By itself, the level of local-authority deprivation was most clearly associated with the Ofsted rating and expenditure was associated with the authority’s deprivation level, but not their Ofsted judgement. Comparisons are made with the Department of Education’s concept of ‘value-added’ education in relation to schools.
CitationWilkins D, Antonopoulou V. (2018) 'Ofsted and Children’s Services: What Performance Indicators and Other Factors Are Associated with Better Inspection Results?', British Journal of Social Work, 50 (3), pp.850–867.
PublisherOxford University Press
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
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