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Improvements of Slough Children's Services Trust shown in Ofsted report

James Hockaday

The hard work of the Slough Children's Services Trust (SCST) was recognised in an Ofsted report published today (Friday).

SCST took control of Slough's children's services in last year following an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating in July 2014.

The government watchdog’s latest report was based on an inspection on November 2 and 3, which was its first visit since SCST also received an inadequate rating in February 2016.

In its latest report, Ofsted says concerns about children at risk of sexual exploitation in Slough are 'steadily reducing' and that risk assessments for those children have improved.

SCST was praised for its 'multi-agency' approach, which involves more collaboration with organisations including the police, voluntary groups and Slough Borough Council.

The report said: "The council and the trust have agreed that the safeguarding of vulnerable children is a firm priority and, together, they have stepped up the pace of improvement.”

Ofsted's judgement of Slough Children's Services Trust remains 'inadequate'. 

SCST now has 11 hubs across Slough, in which social workers work together on cases and pool their resources.

The report said: "The staff we spoke to were positive about working for Slough, and the introduction of social work hubs is having a positive impact."

The number of agency workers in the trust remains high, with about 50 per cent of social workers in the trust’s hubs on permanent contracts.

However SCST has been steadily reducing that figure and Ofsted note that many agency workers were hired to smooth the transition of the work hubs being set up.

SCST CEO Nicola Clemo said: "We are delighted with the Ofsted findings and recognition of all the hard work all SCST staff have put in to improve children's services in Slough.

"We are pleased that Slough Borough Council has been praised too, as we've come a long way in establishing good and effective working relationships.

"We are quickly establishing ourselves as an innovative and exciting place to work, with high calibre staff who share our aims and ambitions.

"We hope more social workers will decide that Slough is a great place to work."

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