Early years inspections

Ofsted has appointed two companies from the private sector to work with us in providing some elements of the inspection and regulation of services for early years from 1 September 2010.

Following a competitive tender process, Tribal Group Plc has been appointed to cover the contract area for the South region. Prospects Services Ltd will cover Ofsted’s work in the North and Midlands.

Early years inspection and regulation are important parts of Ofsted’s work. The transfer of routine registration visits and day to day inspection will enable us to focus on the quality of provision in the early years sector and provide an integrated approach to childcare and early education which matches the delivery at a local level. As well as bringing greater value for money, the new arrangements will help us to respond better to the challenges of a changing national agenda while maintaining high standards of inspection.

Ofsted has successfully worked with a number of companies in the private sector in providing high quality inspections for schools for many years. The contract allows Ofsted’s early years inspectors and support staff to transfer to the new contractors. Their expertise and strong knowledge of early years work will ensure that early years inspections and registration visits continue to be carried out by very experienced inspectors.

Over time, the outsourcing of day-to-day management of inspection will create opportunities for strong early years practitioners to train as inspectors and work closely with experienced inspectors sharing good practice.

A short guide that explains Ofsted’s proposals, why this decision has been made and what this will mean for early years providers, is available on the Ofsted website at: www.ofsted.gov.uk/publications/20100011



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