The Secretary of State has allowed Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector to temporarily suspend all routine inspections of schools, further education, early years and social care providers. Urgent inspections where specific concerns have been raised can still go ahead. This will allow Ofsted to prioritise the immediate safety of children where necessary.
As far as Ofsted are able, they will continue to undertake important regulatory work to help maintain social care provision for the most vulnerable children, and the registration of vital childcare services. Ofsted will operate as a proportionate and responsible regulator, in what we know are challenging times, focused on children’s safeguarding and wellbeing.
All Ofsted Inspectors – those serving headteachers who undertake inspections on Ofsted's behalf – have returned to their schools. They are in daily contact with the Department for Education to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact across education and social care.
Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, said:
“I’m grateful for the Secretary of State’s permission to suspend routine inspections. It’s clearly the right thing to do when teachers and social workers are under pressure as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. We all need to support them in their work.
“We will monitor what’s happening across education and social care and we will reserve the right to inspect where we believe the safety of children could be at risk, or we have other serious concerns. We will also continue to register and regulate social care providers, childminders and nurseries, so that these vital services can continue to support children and their families.”