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Date: Thursday, 4 June 2009 Time

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National Quality & Consistency Forum (Children’s)


Thursday, 4 June 2009




Room 3.15, Musselburgh


Amanda Godsell, Play Scotland

Ann McKenzie, One Parent Families Scotland

Bryan Livingstone, Care Commission

David Baird, Social Care Association

David MacRitchie, Association of Directors of Social Work

Elizabeth Morrison, Who Cares? Scotland

Greg Dempster, Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland

Jacqui Drinkwater, National Day Nurseries Association

Maggie Simpson, Scottish Childminding Association

Marc Hendrikson, Social Work Inspection Agency

Margaret Brunton, Scottish Pre-school Play Association

Margaret Lauder, ADES Pre-5 Sub-group

Mark Bevan, Community Care Providers Scotland

Noni Cobban, United Kingdom Homecare Association

Ronnie Hill, Care Commission (Chair)

Susan Adrian, National Day Nurseries Association

Susan Bain, Association of Quality Nurseries Scotland

In attendance

Alison Bavidge, Care Commission

Anne Hryhorskyj, Care Commission

Elaine Samson, Care Commission

Pamela Hill, Care Commission (Note)



These were noted as follows:

Anne Rooney, Midlothian Council

Barbara Hudson, British Adoption & Fostering Scotland

Caroline Richardson, Who Cares? Scotland

David Clark, Scottish Council of Independent Schools

Eileen Davidson, The Educational Institute of Scotland

Enid Lowe, Scottish Childminding Association

George MacBride, Educational Institute of Scotland

Gillian Ottley, Social Work Inspection Agency

Glynis Elgey, Community Care Providers Scotland

Ian Milligan, Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care

Ian McLaughlan, Scottish Pre-school Play Association

Irene Buchanan, Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland

Jane Arrowsmith, Association of Heads of Residential Special Schools

John Ryan, Aberlour Child Care Trust

Kate Cherry, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education

Kathlyn Taylor, Association of Quality Nurseries Scotland

Kirsten Gooday, Community Care Providers Scotland

Lillian Goldie, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland

Mairi Ferris, Fife Council

Margaret Harwood, Scottish Pre-school Play Association

Marion Burns, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education

Maureen McKissock, Scottish Out of School Care Network

Norma Anne Watson, Educational Institute of Scotland

Pamela Nesbitt, Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland

Sandra Moody, The Fostering Network Scotland

Simon Macauley, The Educational Institute of Scotland



The minute of the last meeting was accepted as an accurate record subject to the following amendment:
Item 6.0, 3rd paragraph

There should be 3rd bullet point noting the Inspection Focus Area of Involving Parents in early years’ children’s services.




3.1 Child Protection Notifications

We started a new system in December 2008 for local authorities and service providers to notify us of any child protection matters connected with the service. Notifications are being submitted and being acted upon appropriately, however, we do not know how well it is working across Scotland. Marjory Booth (MB), Development Officer – Children’s Services Regulation will be reviewing the system and so may be in contact with you in connection with this review. We will report back in October.


3.2 CORPORATE PLAN 2009-11

The advertising campaign (Meet Sid) to further raise awareness of the National Care Standards (NCS) is underway. The Meet Sid website includes six video clips, which are both telling and funny, of children and young people using residential services. Members were asked to look at the website and promote its use to young people. A DVD will be produced in the near future. It is averaging around 2500 hits a week. Feedback would be very welcome and this will be brought back to the next meeting.




We would like to put completed self evaluations on our website. This would give a voice to the service provider as it will show all the information the provider has been requested to provide and not just the sample of what has been inspected. This level of transparency would be within the spirit of the Crerar report. Local authority services would not oppose this - the information could be used by other scrutiny bodies so reducing the burden of duplication.
It was suggested that as well as self-evaluation forms that action plans should be available on the website. Some service providers already place such information on their own websites and we could encourage other providers to do this as best practice.
It has not been decided whether this will definitely happen as there are a number of concerns:

  • Technical aspects need to be resolved.

  • Not all providers are on the e-form system.

  • Some service providers are not yet comfortable with the process of self evaluation.

  • Out-of-date action plans or self evaluations appearing on the website.

To some extent we have been working with umbrella bodies to help their members with workshops about conducting self evaluation but we should try to move this forward. There were also concerns that some providers would copy other providers submissions, however, it was noted that this could be a vehicle to show good practice.

Validation of the self-evaluation occurs at every inspection as the intensity of inspection against the self-evaluation will depend on the RSA level.


3.4 Annual Returns

To date we have received 90% of day care of children and 75% of childminders’ annual returns via eform. This is a massive improvement on 2008-09.
Members were asked to consider and consult as to whether we would be able to stop producing and accepting paper annual returns. We would need to have a definitive answer by August 2009 to know whether this could happen or not for 2010-11. Additionally, Alison Bavidge will write to umbrella bodies to ask whether this is feasible. Prior to this, those services which are not submitting eforms currently will be analysed and provided to umbrella bodies so that they can consider this in context before they commit their members.
We will be writing to local authorities about the difficulties some have in completing eforms and requesting that they contact our ICT team to overcome this. This is not a failing within our ICT systems but is due to the way some local authority networks are designed and so we cannot resolve this by ourselves.




Item 6.0 Inspections 2009-10 – Inspection Focus Areas

The Inspection Focus Area of Involving Parents in early years’ children’s services is being done in support of the Early Years’ framework. In 2010-11 we will be focusing on how services try to engage with parents to improve parenting skills.
A short-life working group will be convened in July to discuss this future Inspection Focus Area. BL will issue invitations to early years’ daycare, childminding and possibly childcare agency umbrella bodies seeking representatives.




The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill has been laid before parliament. Part 1 will be debated this Summer, Autumn will see Part 2 with Royal Ascent and early next year will be Part 3. The Bill is not just about introducing the new regulatory bodies. The first appointments to the new bodies will be early 2010. There will be a publicly appointed Board including people who represent service users and carers.
There are working groups which will provide advice, recommendations about structures and how the new bodies will function. The groups have a very short time to do their work. Interim reports are to go to Ministers in July with final reports in October.
The groups and leads are:

  • Linking Scrutiny and Improvement - Iain Wallace, NHS QIS

  • Implementing Scrutiny Improvement - Ronnie Hill, Care Commission

  • Standards and Outcomes, Neil McKechnie, HMIE

  • Commissioning New Scrutiny - Shane Rankin, Scottish Government Project Team

Information is on the Scottish Government’s website.

If anyone has any gripes about current legislation then feed this to RH as the Bill is still under discussion with the Scottish Government.




This guidance has been produced stating the methodology used for inspections done without HMIE. There are timelines for contacting service users either still living within the service or having moved on from care or moved to another care service within the previous six months.



We are not yet in a position to give out the statistics for last year’s inspections as 6% of last year’s inspections were to be completed by end June 2009. We hope to be able to publish the full year’s results by the end of the Summer.
We will discuss at the next meeting the patterns and distribution of the RSAs against grading and enforcements. We will also be able to discuss where services are receiving low grades but no recommendations.
With regard to safer recruitment, engaging with parents does not mean that parents must be involved in interview panels. Providers can demonstrate involving parents in other ways so good grades do not hinge on the membership of interview panels.
Inspection reports will state that the service provider, not care service manager, is responsible for addressing matters relating to safer recruitment where providers rather than managers are responsible for the recruitment of staff.
In general, any requirements are addressed to the provider.



Inspection frequency has been agreed by Scottish Government. A document was tabled showing how we would implement this in line with the RSA. We will inspect more often if we have concerns about a service’s performance.
Grading analysis will help the Care Commission to advise Scottish Government in the future to about adjusting the frequency of inspections for some service types.



It was suggested that there have been some changes to the Care Commission, such as additional service types being regulated, and that this group’s Terms of Reference should be reviewed. It was also noted that a lot of people do not know what this group’s purpose is and what it achieves despite the Terms of Reference and minutes being published on our website. BL to circulate the current Terms of Reference. This will be discussed at the next meeting as Item 2 of the agenda to ensure full discussion.
There is a similar group for adult services and so this group’s Terms of Reference should be discussed with that group’s Convenor.
It was also suggested that an article in Care News may help to raise awareness.





Members were reminded to put any agenda topics to RH or BL and that they are welcome to bring any literature for member’s information to the meetings.


Childminders and other sole providers who have assistants who are self employed will be inspected on safer recruitment.



Friday, 2 October 2009, Dundee at 10.00am
Dates for 2010 to be scheduled.

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