Consultation Hub

This site hosts consultations run by the Department for Education. Public participation is important to the development of our policies and guidance so please have your say.

 

Open Consultations

Closed Consultations

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

The department sought views on proposals to maintain flexibilities on the timing of medical reports in the foster carer and adopter assessment processes, the use of virtual visits, and the continued suspension of the regular cycle of Ofsted inspections of children’s services providers. The department also asked for views on two proposals relating to adoption; to allow medical reports to be completed by other qualified medical professionals and to remove the requirement for a full medical examination.

You said

The majority of respondents agreed with the proposals to maintain the flexibilities on the timing of medical reports in the foster carer and adopter assessment processes, the use of virtual visits, and the continued suspension of the regular cycle of Ofsted inspections of children’s services providers. On the two proposals relating to adoption; whilst a majority agreed with the proposal to allow medical reports to be completed by other qualified medical professional, there were a greater number who disagreed with the second proposal, to remove the requirement for a full medical examination, and concerns were raised in relation to safeguarding.

We did

The department decided to continue only with plans to extend the existing flexibilities on medical reports (for fostering and adoption), virtual visits and Ofsted inspection cycles, as set out in this document. We have reflected on the responses to the two other proposals to amend adoption regulations and, as safeguarding is an area on which the department places paramount importance, we decided to give this further reflection and are not proceeding with these additional flexibilities at this time.

The department is clear that the flexibilities will only remain in place for as long as they are needed; they will be reviewed in terms of monitoring and in line with the Government roadmap to recovery and there currently are no plans to extend them beyond 30 September 2021.

We asked

The consultation set out ten proposals for reforming the future arrangements for subcontracting of ESFA funded post 16 education and training. The proposals sought to reduce the overall volume of subcontracted delivery across the sector by eliminating provision that is poorly managed and delivered, and provision undertaken for the wrong reasons. It also sought to strengthen the ESFA’s oversight of subcontracted activity.

You said

In general, respondents felt that some of the proposals, particularly where we have suggested obtaining prior agreement from the agency, would be excessively bureaucratic, both for providers and the agency. Many have pointed out where some of the proposals may be suitable for some funding streams but not for others.

We did

We have reflected upon the responses and have made changes to our final approach taking account of the views expressed. We have, in some cases, decided to differentiate our approach by funding stream and to take account of particular structures/modes of delivery. Overall, we have tried to eliminate proposals that would be excessively bureaucratic and will build more of our oversight and assurance into the development of the Standard for the Management of Subcontracting (proposal 9).

We asked

Do you agree with the proposed 10% increases to fees for 2020-21, and how will that affect you as a provider?

You said

The fees should not be increased because doing so will put additional pressure on the budgets of providers.

We did

The majority of providers are a long way from paying the full cost of the inspection and regulatory activity undertaken by Ofsted, which means that the taxpayer continues to subsidise the regulation of the majority of children’s social care providers. However, due to additional pressures on the sector caused by Covid-19, we have since decided to waive the collection of the uplift in fees for the financial year 2020-21.