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Do performance indicators predict Ofsted ratings? An exploratory study of children’s services in England

Do performance indicators predict Ofsted ratings? An exploratory study of children’s services in... The purpose of this study is to explore whether performance indicators in children’s services can be used to predict the outcome of Ofsted inspections. Every local authority in England is inspected by Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, children’s services and skills) and given a single, overall rating – outstanding, good, requirements improvement or inadequate. These ratings carry immense significance. Persistently inadequate authorities are liable to have legal responsibility for providing services outsourced to another organisation. Ofsted have been criticised in the past for focusing too much on procedure, and previous research has highlighted the importance of deprivation and spending levels. In this paper, we describe a new study using more recent Ofsted and local authority data to see what patterns there might be now between performance indicators and inspection results.Design/methodology/approachWe report an analysis of 45 variables in relation to children in need, children in care and young adults with care experience. Using statistical analysis, we consider to what extent performance measured by these variables differs between authorities based on their Ofsted ratings and which of the variables can be used to predict Ofsted inspection outcomes.FindingsWe identified no consistent patterns of difference between local authorities in relation to Ofsted ratings. Deprivation was the best single predictor of Ofsted inspection outcomes.Originality/valueThis study uses relatively recent Ofsted and local authority data and builds on previous research findings which are increasingly highlighting the significance of deprivation as a factor to help explain variable performance between different authorities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Children's Services Emerald Publishing

Do performance indicators predict Ofsted ratings? An exploratory study of children’s services in England

Journal of Children's Services , Volume 15 (2): 15 – Jul 15, 2020

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1746-6660
DOI
10.1108/jcs-07-2019-0035
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore whether performance indicators in children’s services can be used to predict the outcome of Ofsted inspections. Every local authority in England is inspected by Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, children’s services and skills) and given a single, overall rating – outstanding, good, requirements improvement or inadequate. These ratings carry immense significance. Persistently inadequate authorities are liable to have legal responsibility for providing services outsourced to another organisation. Ofsted have been criticised in the past for focusing too much on procedure, and previous research has highlighted the importance of deprivation and spending levels. In this paper, we describe a new study using more recent Ofsted and local authority data to see what patterns there might be now between performance indicators and inspection results.Design/methodology/approachWe report an analysis of 45 variables in relation to children in need, children in care and young adults with care experience. Using statistical analysis, we consider to what extent performance measured by these variables differs between authorities based on their Ofsted ratings and which of the variables can be used to predict Ofsted inspection outcomes.FindingsWe identified no consistent patterns of difference between local authorities in relation to Ofsted ratings. Deprivation was the best single predictor of Ofsted inspection outcomes.Originality/valueThis study uses relatively recent Ofsted and local authority data and builds on previous research findings which are increasingly highlighting the significance of deprivation as a factor to help explain variable performance between different authorities.

Journal

Journal of Children's ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 15, 2020

Keywords: Social work; Regulation; Inspection; Children and families; Social care; Ofsted

References