As the regulator of children’s care services across England, Ofsted is a risk-based regulator that is required to protect and promote the welfare of children and young people and assure the public as to the standard of registered services.

At Gordons Partnership, we have a specialist Care Provider Team led by Neil Grant who has over 25 years’ experience working in the sector. Previously, Neil acted for Ofsted but now only acts for providers.

The Ofsted legislation and guidance is complex and service specific and you need specialist lawyers familiar with its detail and application.

For example, with regard to Ofsted’s regulation of children’s homes, you need lawyers who are conversant with the Care Standards Act 2000, the Children’s’ Homes Regulations 2015, Ofsted’s Guide to the Children’s Homes Regulations, including the quality standards, Ofsted’s Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): children’s homes and the Ofsted Social Care Compliance Handbook.  

Our expertise enables us to advise clients on the following areas:

  • The Ofsted registration journey. A provider cannot operate lawfully without Ofsted registration. We can assist applicants in obtaining Ofsted registration, whether they are new to the sector or wish to add additional services to their portfolio.
  • Ofsted Inspection. Registered services are subject to the full rigour of Ofsted inspection at periodic intervals. We support clients through the inspection process, including responding to Ofsted draft inspection reports.
  • Ofsted Compliance.We work with our clients in addressing compliance issues, often alongside specialist care consultants with whom we have a longstanding relationship. Equally, where the facts and evidence do not support an alleged breach of regulation, we support our clients in challenging Ofsted in a polite but firm manner.
  • Ofsted Enforcement.Ofsted has a wide range of enforcement powers ranging from prosecution to cancellation of registration. We defend providers subject to Ofsted regulatory action, always seeking to resolve matters as quickly as possible. We are also familiar with the complex disqualification arrangements that apply when a service has its registration cancelled.

Neil Grant writes:

An in depth understanding of Ofsted’s jurisdiction and guidance is essential in order to advise children’s homes and other child care providers effectively. At the same time, it is critical to put in place a strategy and plan at the outset, linked to the evidence and an informed assessment of risk. Each case is unique and has to be judged on its own merits. Our approach is based on cooperation, respect and collaboration but we are always assertive in defending our clients’ interests.

Please feel to contact Neil for a free, no obligation discussion. Our paramount concern is to assist care providers requiring regulatory and commercial advice.