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Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009

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199Inspection of children's centresE+W

This sectionnoteType=Explanatory Notes has no associated

After Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006 (c. 21) (regulation of provision of childcare in England) insert— Part 3A Inspection of children's centres

98AInspections

(1)The Chief Inspector must—

(a)inspect a children's centre at such intervals as may be prescribed;

(b)inspect a children's centre at any time when the Secretary of State requires the Chief Inspector to secure its inspection.

(2)The Chief Inspector may inspect a children's centre at any other time when the Chief Inspector considers that it would be appropriate for it to be inspected.

(3)Regulations may provide that in prescribed circumstances the Chief Inspector is not required to inspect a children's centre at an interval prescribed for the purposes of subsection (1)(a).

(4)A requirement made by the Secretary of State as mentioned in subsection (1)(b) may be imposed in relation to—

(a)children's centres generally;

(b)a class of children's centres;

(c)a particular children's centre.

(5)For the purposes of subsection (4)(b) a class of children's centres may be described, in particular, by reference to a geographical area.

(6)If the Chief Inspector so elects in the case of an inspection falling within subsection (1)(b) or (2), that inspection is to be treated as if it were an inspection falling within subsection (1)(a).

98BReports

(1)After conducting an inspection of a children's centre under section 98A, the Chief Inspector must make a report in writing.

(2)The report must address the centre's contribution to—

(a)facilitating access to early childhood services by parents, prospective parents and young children;

(b)maximising the benefit of those services to parents, prospective parents and young children;

(c)improving the well-being of young children.

(3)Regulations may make provision, for the purposes of subsection (2), about—

(a)matters required to be dealt with in the report;

(b)matters not required to be dealt with in the report.

(4)The regulations may, in particular, require the matters dealt with in the report to include matters relating to the quality of the leadership and management of the centre, including whether the financial resources made available to it are managed effectively.

(5)The Chief Inspector—

(a)may send a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and must do so without delay if the Secretary of State requests a copy;

(b)must ensure that a copy of the report is sent without delay to the relevant local authority;

(c)may arrange for the report (or parts of it) to be further published in any manner the Chief Inspector considers appropriate.

(6)For the purposes of this section and section 98C, the “relevant local authority”, in relation to a children's centre, is the English local authority that made the arrangements under section 3(2) by virtue of which the centre is provided.

98CAction to be taken by local authority on receiving report

(1)This section applies where a copy of a report relating to a children's centre is sent to the relevant local authority under section 98B(5)(b).

(2)The authority may—

(a)send a copy of the report (or parts of it) to any person they think appropriate;

(b)otherwise publish the report (or parts of it) in any manner they think appropriate.

(3)The authority must secure that a written statement within subsection (4) is prepared and published.

(4)A statement within this subsection is one setting out—

(a)the action that each relevant person proposes to take in the light of the report, and

(b)the period within which each relevant person proposes to take that action.

(5)For the purposes of this section and section 98D, each of the following is a relevant person in relation to a children's centre—

(a)the relevant local authority;

(b)any person or body, other than the relevant local authority, managing the centre.

(6)In exercising their functions under this section, an English local authority must have regard to any guidance given from time to time by the Secretary of State.

98DInspections of children's centres: powers of entry

(1)The Chief Inspector may, at any reasonable time, enter any relevant premises in England for the purpose of conducting an inspection of a children's centre under section 98A.

(2)“Relevant premises”, for the purposes of subsection (1), are—

(a)premises on which services or activities are being provided through the children's centre;

(b)premises of a relevant person which are used in connection with the staffing, organisation or operation of the children's centre.

(3)But premises used wholly or mainly as a private dwelling are not relevant premises for the purposes of subsection (1).

(4)An authorisation given by the Chief Inspector under paragraph 9(1) of Schedule 12 to the Education and Inspections Act 2006 in relation to functions under subsection (1)—

(a)may be given for a particular occasion or period;

(b)may be given subject to conditions.

(5)Subject to any conditions imposed under subsection (4)(b), subsections (6) to (8) apply where a person (“the inspector”) enters premises under this section.

(6)The inspector may—

(a)inspect the premises;

(b)take measurements and photographs or make recordings;

(c)inspect any children for whom activities are provided on the premises, and the arrangements made for their welfare;

(d)interview in private any person working on the premises who consents to be interviewed.

(7)The inspector may inspect, and take copies of, any records or documents relating to—

(a)the services or activities provided through the children's centre;

(b)the staffing, organisation or operation of the children's centre.

(8)The inspector may require a person to afford such facilities and assistance, with respect to matters within the person's control, as are necessary to enable the inspector to exercise the powers conferred by this section.

(9)Section 58 of the Education Act 2005 (inspection of computer records) applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of Part 1 of that Act.

(10)In this section “documents” and “records” each include information recorded in any form.

98EObstruction of power of entry, etc.

(1)A person commits an offence if the person intentionally obstructs another person exercising a power under section 98D.

(2)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

98FPower of constable to assist in exercise of power of entry

(1)The Chief Inspector may apply to a court for a warrant under this section.

(2)Subsection (3) applies if on an application under subsection (1) it appears to the court that the Chief Inspector—

(a)has attempted to exercise a power conferred by section 98D but has been prevented from doing so, or

(b)is likely to be prevented from exercising any such power.

(3)The court may issue a warrant authorising any constable to assist the Chief Inspector in the exercise of the power, using reasonable force if necessary.

(4)A warrant under this section must be addressed to, and executed by, a constable.

(5)Schedule 11 to the Children Act 1989 (jurisdiction of courts) applies in relation to proceedings under this section as if they were proceedings under that Act.

(6)Subject to any provision made (by virtue of subsection (5)) by or under Schedule 11 to the Children Act 1989, “court” in this section means—

(a)the High Court;

(b)a county court;

(c)a magistrates' court.

98GInspection of children's centres: interpretation

In sections 98A to 98F—

  • the Chief Inspector” means Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills;

  • children's centre” has the meaning given by section 5A(4);

  • relevant partner” has the same meaning as in section 4.

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