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Ofsted withdraws and clarifies guidance on significant events and health changes

By Rachel Lawlerchild playing with toys

Ofsted has withdrawn recently updated guidance on reporting significant health events and changes, which provided an extensive list of health conditions and changes that could impact the suitability of those working in early years settings.

The Alliance met with representatives from Ofsted today to discuss the guidance.

Ofsted fully acknowledged and accepted that the guidance caused significant worry and anger throughout the sector and have withdrawn it with a view to clarifying the contents of the document.

In the interim, Ofsted has asked the Alliance to share the following points of clarity with the sector, with the hope of providing some reassurance:

  • The guidance only applies to those at settings, including childminding settings, who are registered with Ofsted (e.g. the setting’s ‘registered person’) and will have filled out Ofsted’ health declaration form’ upon registering as an early years provider. The guidance does not apply to setting staff and employees. It remains the responsibility of setting managers/owners to make any professional judgements on their employees’ suitability to care for children.
  • The guidance was issued in response to a number of queries to Ofsted about which significant events and health changes should be reported. However, the list of health conditions is *not* a list of conditions that need to be reported to Ofsted. They were intended as examples of some conditions that might warrant being reported to Ofsted if – and only if – the relevant individual (e.g. the setting’s registered person) made the professional judgement that the condition was likely to impact on their own ability to care for children at their setting.

Ofsted said that it is planning to issue revised guidance, which reflects the above, as soon as possible.