Ofsted has published the results of its latest annual survey on the views of children in residential care and living away from home, and those of their carers. The 2021 survey received more than 49,000 responses, with over 7,000 of those from children—the largest number Ofsted has ever received for one of its surveys. Ofsted uses the survey responses alongside other information, including previous inspection findings and concerns, to decide when to inspect and what to focus on.
The main findings of the 2021 survey are as follows:
- 99% of children in foster care who responded to the survey felt safe where they live
- there was an increase in the number of children in boarding school and in residential accommodation in further education who felt they were not helped to do well with their school or college work
- children frequently said that they wished they could stay where they were for longer and that they would not have to move on when they were 18
- a lower proportion of children in boarding schools and in further education residential accommodation felt they were well cared for compared with the children who lived or stayed elsewhere
Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, Yvette Stanley, stated that: ‘These surveys are really important, and I want to thank everyone who gave us their views. It’s important to know how children and young people feel about those who support them, and brilliant to see that so many children are happy where they live and with the care that they receive. There is always room for improvement though. We will use this feedback to help us focus our inspections on the things that matter to children.’
The 2021 survey results can be found here.