30th November, 2021 4:10 pm

The number of local authority-run children’s homes in England and Wales decreased between April and August this year, according to latest figures from Ofsted.

A new report from the inspectorate also notes that, in the same time period, 150 new children’s homes were registered with Ofsted across the private, voluntary and council sectors.

This equates to a net increase of three per cent on the previous quarter due to the voluntary resignation of 51 homes from Ofsted’s register.

Both the private and voluntary sectors saw an increase in new homes with 71 registrations received from the private sector and four submitted from the voluntary sector, the report shows.

However, there was a small net decrease in local authority-run homes, with six new registrations and 12 de-registrations in the period.

“This includes one deregistered home that was run by an organisation that provides the children’s services function of the LA, such as a trust,” the report states.

Overall there are 2,776 Ofsted-registered active children’s homes in England and Wales.

Some 86 per cent of homes have been rated by Ofsted with 79 per cent judged good or outstanding, 17 per cent judged requires improvement to be good and four per cent judged inadequate at their most recent inspection.

The percentage of children’s homes of all types judged good or outstanding has fallen from 82 per cent compared with 31 August 2019.

However, in London the proportion of homes judged good or outstanding of per cent.

In the North West, North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, South West and East of England the proportion of homes judged good or outstanding decreased by five percentage points or more, the report states.

Overall, the voluntary sector has the highest percentage of top-performing homes, with 85 per cent of voluntary-run homes judged good or outstanding, compared with 77 per cent of homes in the local authority sector and 79 per cent of homes in the private sector.

Despite local authorities having the lowest proportion of children’s homes judged good or outstanding, they had the highest proportion of outstanding children’s homes.

However, they also had a slightly higher proportion of inadequate homes.

The figures come following concerns raised by sector leaders at the education select committee over a lack of availability of residential placements for children.

Children’s home providers have also warned over a “staffing crisis” in the sector.

Source: Children & Young People Now

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