On Monday 20 February, Ofsted notified Rachael Wardell, Executive Director of Children, Families and Lifelong Learning at Surrey County Council, of the start of a multi-agency Joint Targeted Area Inspection into Surrey’s Early Help arrangements. The Early Help JTAI as it is known, is a multi-agency, multi-inspectorate inspection which entails 2 weeks of arms-length evaluation of the county’s early help arrangements followed by a week of fieldwork.  Two other inspectorates were involved: Care Quality Commission (CQC) and His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The inspection activity was carried out in accordance with the inspection framework and partners, including FVS, were advised that colleagues in our organisations might, but not necessarily would, be contacted and invited to be part of this inspection. We can confirm that FVS wasn’t one of the organisations contacted by the inspectors. Please also note that this inspection was not the Ofsted and CQC SEND Inspection which we anticipate could happen at some point in 2023.

Following the inspection, the findings have now been published and can be viewed here – Surrey_Joint Targeted Area Inspection Report_Apr23

Unlike most other Ofsted reports, there is no overall grading in a JTAI outcome letter. Instead, it details multi-agency strengths and areas to improve. In terms of areas of improvement to make across the multi-agency delivery, inspectors made the following recommendations: increasing the role of Surrey Safeguarding Children’s Partnership when it comes to oversight of early help; achieving consistency of sharing referral outcomes with parents and referral agencies; information sharing and decision-making between partners; and clear articulation of rationales for stepping down from statutory intervention.

The inspection framework for the joint targeted area inspection of the multi-agency response to children and families who need help can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-targeted-area-inspection-of-the-multi-agency-response-to-children-and-families-who-need-help/joint-targeted-area-inspection-of-the-multi-agency-response-to-children-and-families-who-need-help#week-1-off-site-notification-set-up-and-information-request