9. Scheduling and the inspection team
How an inspection is scheduled and who makes up the team.
9.1 Frequency of inspections
We have a duty to inspect residential holiday schemes for disabled children once a year under Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, children’s services and skills (fees and frequency of inspections) (residential holiday schemes for disabled children, etc.) regulations 2015 (SI 2015/551). This means that we will visit at least 1 site that the scheme uses for its operation each financial year.
The scheduling of inspections takes account of:
- the dates when the scheme is running
- legal requirements
- previous inspection findings
- complaints and concerns about the service
- returned questionnaires from children, young people, foster carers, social workers and other stakeholders
- the contents of monitoring reports given to Ofsted by residential holiday schemes under regulations 29 and 30 of the Residential holiday schemes for disabled children (England) regulations 2013
9.3 Length of inspections
Residential holiday schemes for disabled children are inspected by suitably experienced social care inspectors and usually by a single inspector.
For an inspection of a residential holiday scheme, an inspector spends a maximum of 2 days on site. For most inspections, only one day on site may be necessary.
The inspector and the regulatory inspection manager (RIM) should decide how best to allocate resources for inspections.
The inspector should consider whether:
- the amount of time on site should be reduced, such as for a holiday scheme that provides holidays for only a small number of children
- additional resources, such as more inspectors or more time on site, should be deployed for inspections of larger schemes or for schemes with a wide geographical spread, or where there are specific issues such as a serious incident to consider
If a holiday scheme runs from several different locations during the year, the inspector decides which site to inspect based on information Ofsted holds about the scheme, including which sites we have inspected previously.
Inspections will not normally be deferred. Absence or unavailability of key staff (unless the provider is a single person) or accommodation issues such as refurbishment will not usually be reasons for deferral. If no staff are available, the inspector should contact the responsible individual or person in charge to arrange access.
An inspection will only be deferred when it might place children or others at risk if it goes ahead or if the ability to gather secure evidence is severely restricted. These conditions might include:
- serious weather conditions that make access to sites difficult or dangerous
- a serious incident where the presence of an inspector would have an adverse impact on the safety and well-being of children, young people or adults
Decisions about deferrals are agreed by the RIM.