Ofsted plans to withhold inspection reports until complaints are resolved

Ofsted will withhold publication of inspection reports until it has resolved complaints about them under a new redress system proposed by the inspectorate.

A consultation launched today proposes that formal complaints raised by providers within two working days of receiving their final report will effectively delay publication of the report until the complaint is dealt with.

Under the current system, providers have to submit formal complaints within 10 days of an issue of concern, but Ofsted does not normally withhold publication of reports while it considers complaints.

Today the watchdog admitted the current approach has led to it having to take action after it has published a report “when a complaint investigation highlights an error in the inspection process”.

“As a result, we are proposing to consider and respond to formal complaints from inspected providers before we publish their inspection report, if these complaints are submitted promptly,” the watchdog said in its consultation documents.

“So that the publication of a report is not overly delayed, if an inspected provider wants to raise a formal complaint, they will need to submit this within two working days of them being issued with their final report. If an inspected provider submits a formal complaint within this period, we will withhold publication of the inspection report until we have considered and responded to the complaint.”

However, complaints will not “normally” be considered outside of this deadline, because the submission will be deemed to be ‘out of time’, Ofsted said.

The consultation also proposes that providers will receive five working days to review their draft report and submit concerns about issues of “factual accuracy and the inspection process”. At the moment, they only receive one, but some other types of provider get longer.

The extended period “will allow all inspected providers the same opportunity to raise any issues of factual inaccuracy in their draft report, or to comment on any aspect of the inspection process”.

“We will consider all submitted comments before we issue the final inspection report to a provider.”

Ofsted also wants to introduce “greater consistency” in post-inspection arrangements.

A new timeline will mean that all providers “should expect to see their draft report within 18 working days of the end of their inspection”, and Ofsted will aim to issue all final reports to providers “within 30 working days of the end of the inspection”.

The current system of internal reviews, which are the last step for those not satisfied with the way their complaint has been handled, will be retained.

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  1. Philip Gorst

    No – it can’t be true!

    Ofsted, in this brave new world of the new inspection regime, have admitted that mistakes by inspectors can be made! This must mean that inspectors, are, after all, human beings, not robotic, clipboard wielding creatures welded to strict protocols and practices.

    Mmmm……wonder if the appeal rate will go up.

    Nurse, nurse!!

  2. Miss kaur

    Sadly this is too little to late in my case. My setting was inspected in October 2019 and rated inadequate based on judgements made from cctv which were not stated in the report, instead it read as if it’s findings had been viewed first hand.

    I did not receive a draft report. I was notified by a Parent who received a notification it had been published. The damage limitation on my business has been beyond extent. Staff morale and reputation has been tarnished. Yes we await a re-inspection but we know that it will not be a true reflection based on past events.

    Yes I raised a complaint and no, it was totally dismissed on every account.

    The report was picked up by local newspapers and across social media.

    The report was factually incorrect and only the human errors made by the inspector (typo errors) were corrected.

    My main concern is that complaints are internally reviewed. Which questions the whole independence of this regulatory body.