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Ofsted to start assurance inspections in group-based settings

By Rachel Lawlerchild playing Ofsted inspections 2021

Ofsted has announced that it will be going ahead with ‘assurance inspections’ as planned for group-based providers, but will not be visiting childminders under new plans revealed this week.

From 18 January, inspectors will begin visiting settings that have not been visited by Ofsted since they first registered as well as those where there are concerns about children’s learning and development.

Childminders will not be subject to these assurance inspections.

Ofsted says this is in recognition of the added pressure on childminders who may be home-schooling their own children or have other family members working from home as well as the difficulty of remaining Covid-19 secure in a home setting.

Inspectors will, however, carry out regulatory visits to childminders where there are concerns.

Ofsted also has plans to introduce a testing programme for its inspectors to ensure that they are all tested for Covid-19 before face-to-face visits.

Inspectors will also be provided with PPE and safety guidance.

These plans will be kept under review as the situation develops.