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To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of applying Ofsted regulation to semi-independent accommodation for 16 and 17 year olds in care.
Every child growing up in care should have a stable, secure environment where they feel supported. Meeting the individual needs of children in care and care leavers should be paramount in local authority decision making on placements. It is unacceptable for any child to be placed in provision that does not meet their needs and keep them safe. Where local authorities place children in settings that are not registered or inspected by Ofsted they are required by law to ensure that it is suitable, which is defined in statutory guidance and includes checks on the premises and any staff working there. Local authorities are held accountable for the care they provide to vulnerable children by Ofsted and we have written to all Directors of Children’s Services to remind them of this duty.
We must do all that we can to ensure that our children are given the best possible quality of support. The department is working closely with Ofsted to consider next steps, including whether further regulation or registration of providers would be appropriate.