Family Division President: judges can talk to Ofsted


Judges are allowed to talk to Ofsted inspectors the President of the Family Division has declared.

In newly published guidance, Sir James Munby noted that “some confusion had arisen over the propriety” of judges talking to Ofsted staff while the latter conduct inspections of children’s services departments and similar organisations.

“For the avoidance of doubt” he declared, it is “perfectly legitimate” for judges to discuss with the inspectors the quality of the fostering and adoption cases brought before them by local authority social workers.

Such discussions would, however, be entirely voluntary and judges are “free to decline” if approached by inspectors, said Sir James. In addition, he stressed:

“It would not, however, be appropriate for judges to give feedback on the performance of individuals.”

In most cases, the President explained, the local family judge would be the most appropriate point of contact for inspectors. These may also proactively contact the Ofsted team if they become aware that an inspection of the local children’s services department is underway and they wish to contribute their views.

Photo by Chris Campbell via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

dr. manhattan62 - June 29, 2017 at 3:53pm

“judges are “free to decline” if approached by inspectors”

so basically that means if there is any collusion between the court and local authority against the parents they will bound to decline having Ofsted poking their noses in.

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