About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Mea maxima culpa?

The post Baby P pendulum seems to have swung full circle with Ofsted's admission that it too played a part in Haringey's failures over Baby P because the Ofsted assessment system is open to manipulation . A rather mealy mouthed admission of guilt some might think - it's our fault but it's their fault really. Also rather ironic since one of the things that school governing bodies are regularly criticised for is not asking the right questions and being too much of a friend to be critical. Just how little effort it might take even for Ofsted to spot a lie dressed up as a statistic is revealed by the Head of Ofsted, Christine Gilbert's further admission that the flaws in the original Ofsted assessment of Haringey in 2007 were revealed by the 2nd day of this one. A rather drastic reform to Ofsted practices was suggested by the Head of Kidscape in the Telegraph a few days ago: Ofsted Inspectors should actually go out on home visits and meet children at risk of abuse. Their own proposal is to carry out annual and ad hoc inspections of all children services' departments: of course, unless they sort out how they are going to do an inspection so they don't get 'fooled' by statistics, this will just mean that they paper over the cracks more often at great expense to the public purse. I've also got to wonder whether the great idea of combining responsibility for education and social work into one service (and subsequently having it inspected by a system developed primarily for education) was such a great one after all.

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