The systematic review of records during the first phase of the inspection provides a window into the quality of operational practice, particularly about processes such as assessment and planning which underpin safe and effective practice for children at risk of harm. Inspectors review children’s records over three consecutive days including those from social work, health, education, police and SCRA.

Building on the successful inclusion of local file readers in the previous joint inspection models, inspectors will continue to work collaboratively with community planning partnerships (CPPs), building capacity and bringing added value to the scrutiny process wherever possible. Usually, six local records readers are included in each inspection. Each local records reader is matched with an inspector for the duration of the file reading activity. This is to provide a higher degree of moderation and discussion to promote learning through this process.

We have developed guidance for CPPs about this. Training for local records readers takes place before the records reading activity commences and can be extended to include other staff from the CPP who have a quality assurance role and would benefit from this input, up to a maximum of 15 people including the six taking part in the subsequent records reading.

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