Schools minister orders review of police childcare case

Schools minister Vernon Coaker has announced a review of a case where Ofsted forced two police officers to change their childcare arrangements.

For more than two years, detective constables Leanne Shepherd and Lucy Jarrett job-shared and, on their days off, took care of ona another’s children.

This worked well for both officers, but Ofsted became involved after a neighbour reported the arrangement.

According to Ofsted, the women broke a rule which states that parents should not look after other people’s children for more than two hours a day for reward.

Ofsted said that in Shepherd and Jarrett’s case, having their own children cared for constituted reward.

Coaker said that the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) was speaking to Ofsted about the interpretation of the word “reward”.

An Ofsted spokesman told the Times that the watchdog had applied the rules for the registration of childcare laid down in the Childcare Act.

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