Ofsted state that at any one time there are around 10% of homes without a Registered Manager. Some may wonder whether this is the rationale for Ofsted’s decision to be more open to registering one manager for two homes, as outlined in their updated guide. Whilst it is acknowledged that such a move could secure the stability of more homes and encourage further bespoke and supportive structures to be embedded around the registered manager role, it may also leave two homes and two groups of children more vulnerable when managers depart. It will require a transparent and consistent application across England so we hope Ofsted will review and share data on application rates and outcomes. The new guidance, ‘Introduction to Children’s Homes,’ also make it clear that if registration is refused managers will be disqualified and outlines the impact of this on their career in this sector. It is important potential managers and providers take note of this.
Allowing a manager to register for more than one home may make a small contribution to the sufficiency issue that is dominating the sector. The focus is largely on the shortage of homes and insufficient suitable places available for children while the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable managers to manage homes is less well considered. New, aspiring and existing managers all need to be well supported, developed and refreshed. Join us on first face to face Registered Managers Training day since the pandemic or sign up to the Registered Managers Network.