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Ofsted pauses assurance inspections until after half-term

By Rachel Lawlertoddler nursery playing

Ofsted has delayed plans to begin 'assurance inspections' at early years settings until after half-term 2021.

The organisation previously said that it would start visiting group-based providers, while childminders would not be subject to visits unless there were concerns about their provision.

However, they have now post-poned these plans until after the half-term break in February 2021 in light of a "new emphasis" from the government to "act as if you have the virus". 

Schools and further education providers will be inspected remotely, although this approach will not be used for early years providers.

Ofsted said: "It is not possible to provide the necessary level of assurance of early years providers without an on-site inspection of the premises, so early years assurance visits will be paused until after the February half term.

"We will continue with our vital regulatory work in early years and children’s social care. This work will sometimes require on-site visits, which will be risk-assessed based on the nature of the premises and the urgency of the work."

Ofsted will continue to undertake on-site inspections if it has immediate concerns about a provider.