Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham child abuse: Ofsted "not good enough", admits director

Debbie Jones
Image caption Simon Danczuk said Debbie Jones was "one of the worst witnesses we've ever taken"

Ofsted has admitted its inspections of children's services in Rotherham, where more than 1,400 children were sexually abused, was "not good enough".

Inspectors from the regulator failed to spot the extent of child sexual exploitation in the town over several years, rating the council as adequate.

Debbie Jones, Ofsted's director of social care, told MPs the regulator was "sorry" for not spotting the abuse.

She blamed "inadequate frameworks" for Ofsted's failings.

The Jay Report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham revealed systemic failures in local council scrutiny, governance, and leadership.

Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities in England, beaten and intimidated, a report by Prof Alexis Jay found.

Labour MPs Simon Danczuk and Clive Betts, who are on the Communities and Local Government Committee which questioned Ms Jones, pushed several times for an apology before the Ofsted director would say sorry.

Mr Danczuk called the director "one of the worst witnesses we've ever taken".

Ms Jones said: "We at Ofsted feel that what we have done is not good enough. Of course we're sorry - we're sorry along with, I'm sure, everybody else who has been in front of this committee."

She added changes had been made to the way Ofsted carried out inspections.

"Part of the difference between the past inspection frameworks and this one is the increased focus on the journey of the child," she said.

"The inspection covers four weeks and we look at children and young people's experiences from entering the system through to exit."

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