Ofsted are currently trialling a new complaints process for early years settings, which aims to prioritise complaints and ascertain if a complaint is serious enough to warrant an immediate inspection.

Reported in Nursery World details of the pilot include:

“Those handling complaints about nurseries and childminders will look at the range of evidence, the history of the setting, previous inspection grades, and whether there have been any other complaints received from different sources.”

“During the month’s pilot, there will be just two options for dealing with complaints:  either the complaint will be viewed as ‘acute’ and Ofsted will visit the setting that day or that week, mainly for safeguarding concerns; or, if the complaint is deemed a ‘one-off’, Ofsted will ‘park it’ and the inspector who carries out the routine inspection of the setting will deal with the complaint as part of the normal inspection cycle.”

The outcomes of the pilot will be reviewed and will potentially lead to Ofsted revising its guidance on priority and brought-forward inspections.