UK’s ACECQA suspends all assessment and rating visits – will Australia follow suit?
Ofsted, the national regulatory authority in England, roughly equivalent to ACECQA in Australia, has suspended all routine inspections early learning and other educational settings, saying “ it is clearly the right thing to do when teachers and social workers are under pressure as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. We all need to support them in their work”.
Urgent inspections, where specific concerns have been raised about the safety and wellbeing of children and young people are still able to go ahead with measures in place to allow the regulator to prioritise the immediate safety of children where necessary.
“As far as we are able, we will continue to undertake our important regulatory work to help maintain social care provision for the most vulnerable children, and the registration of vital childcare services. We will operate as a proportionate and responsible regulator, in what we know are challenging times, focused on children’s safeguarding and well-being,” Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, said.
Ofsted are in daily contact with the Department for Education to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact across education and social care.
“We will monitor what’s happening across education and social care and we will reserve the right to inspect where we believe the safety of children could be at risk, or we have other serious concerns. We will also continue to register and regulate social care providers, childminders and nurseries, so that these vital services can continue to support children and their families,” Ms Speilman said.