Ofsted says council determined to make ‘rapid and sustainable improvements’ to children’s services

Buckinghamshire County Council is making ‘early progress’ to improve children’s services, and has a determination to achieve ‘rapid and sustainable improvements’ according to Ofsted in its monitoring letter published today.

The letter outlines the results of a visit made to the council’s children’s services in early July, which follows the outcome of the November 2017 inadequate judgement made by Ofsted.

Inspectors considered a range of evidence, including case files, meetings with social workers and managers, discussions with senior managers and analysis of other documentations and data.

The report noted that “senior managers are strongly committed to moving forward at a realistic pace, alongside a determination to achieve rapid and sustainable improvements in children’s circumstances and outcomes”.

The report found there is much more to be done – notably that social workers’ caseloads remained high and that some positive new approaches in the service have not yet had the chance to fully take effect. While the letter found that there had been some evidence of ‘inconsistent management oversight’, it acknowledged that senior managers are in the early stages of ensuring that improved standards are consistently applied as part of the wider improvement plan.

Warren Whyte, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “The outcome of Ofsted’s monitoring visit is a positive start and confirms that children’s services in Buckinghamshire are heading in the right direction. There is no doubt, there is much more to do. It is encouraging that the key issues it raises are ones the service has already identified and is working to improve. We are grateful to all our staff for their hard work and commitment as we continue our plans to improve children’s services.”

The report can be read here or by following the link below.