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In response to the news that the inspectorate has updated its complaints procedure to handle providers’ concerns more ‘fairly, thoroughly and efficiently’, providers have expressed their disbelief that anything will change while Ofsted still handles complaints internally.

Under the changes announced last week, Ofsted will still review any complaints, but will now send a sample of closed complaints to a panel for review. Providers can now also escalate complaints to the Independent Complaints Adjudication Service for Ofsted if they are dissatisfied with Ofsted’s formal response.

One provider accused Ofsted of ‘empty words’, while another, Birmingham nursery owner, who made a complaint due to their inspector’s poor conduct during a complaint-driven inspection, said Ofsted was just paying ‘lip service’.

She added, ‘The proof will be a year or two down the line. Nothing will change, I guarantee. Early years providers will still be traumatised by inspectors who wield their power in such a negative and life-changing way.’

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