If you want to have a successful Ofsted Inspection, there are several things you can do to increase your chances.  The first is to sit down and think about everything that needs to be done in your children’s home to make it a success.  Note down your thoughts this will become your action plan.  After checking your child protection and safeguarding procedures are working and effective and that children’s progress is happening, auditing practice needs to be top of that list.

We sometimes leave auditing and quality monitoring to the wind.  It ends up being the last thing on the to-do pile.  But, if you want to be successful, you must place a high priority on it.

Week One – Planning Ahead

One of the most important things you can do to ensure success is to plan what you will be reviewing in the next four weeks and how you will do it for each area of your service.  It’s not a “one and done” proposition.  It takes a few weeks to get the message out and get people to answer your calls to action.  Create a separate plan for each area that you need to check.  One way to do this is to consider the Ofsted inspection framework areas of evidence and use this as a guide.

You can use the checklist below this post.

Week Two – Take a Deep Dive

Arguably the most important thing you need to know is whether everything in your service is working as it should.  You need to know the risks to your children and whether they are becoming safer.  You need to take a deep dive into their care planning, risk assessments, and strategies to ensure that children are making progress and staff are not cutting corners.

What is best for them, and is it happening?

Make it your goal to be sure that children in your home are safe, that staff know how to keep them safe and that they follow the home’s procedures when the need arises.

Assume nothing!

Don’t forget to check your previous inspection outcomes.  Are the requirements complete?

Week Three – Lessons Learned

Many people shy away from writing lessons learned because they think it draws attention to their failures.  On the contrary, a well-written lesson learned shows that you have identified a problem or area for improvement and what you will do to avoid that problem in the future.  There is not a home in the land that doesn’t make mistakes.  Use your team to help you identify where things went wrong.

Open, honest discussion is needed.

There is never a reason to feel guilty about making a mistake, providing you ensure you know why it happened and put in place the mechanisms to prevent it from happening again.

Week Four – Getting Honest

Even if your home is 100 per cent on top of everything when you do your audits and deep dive, don’t shy away from making improvements.  Be honest.  Can you do anything better?  What resources would you need to help children progress even more than they already are?

Are there actions you need to take to step outside of your comfort zone and start growing your service in new ways?

Planning what you will do each week and repeating it will help you become more successful than you ever thought possible.  If you play your cards right, the truth is that increasing your inspection readiness is simply a few weeks away.


Children's Homes Ofsted Inspection Tips