01:44PM, Monday 04 March 2019
Significant progress has been made in tackling the ‘deep-rooted problems’ which have led to the borough’s children’s services being rated inadequate for the past eight years, according to an Ofsted report.
Following a three-week long inspection, the Slough’s children’s services received the improved rating of ‘requires improvement to be good’.
The inspection, which took place between January 14 and February 1, found the support received by Slough is much better than when the Slough Children’s Services Trust was first set up in 2015.
The trust took over the borough’s children’s services in October 2015 after Slough Borough Council (SBC) received an inadequate Ofsted rating in 2014.
Ofsted’s latest report, published today (Monday), praised the council and trust for improving their working relationship, ‘after a faltering start’, and says they now work much more collaboratively.
Slough Children’s Services Trust chairman Robert Tapsfield thanked staff for their ‘talent and dedication’.
He added: “Our new chief executive, Lisa Humphreys, is now leading the way and driving change at a faster pace than ever.
“We know there are still improvements to be made and will be working hard, with the council, to continue making progress for our children and young people. “
The trust was praised for identifying children’s needs and responding to them proactively through its front door hub, a multi-agency support hub serving as the first port of call for all initial inquiries.
The inspectors found that, through regular visits, social workers were building meaningful relationships with children and their assessments were of good quality.
However, Ofsted’s report also says a high turnover of frontline staff still leave s some young people struggling to form relationships with social workers.
The Government watchdog says more work is needed to ensure consistency in the quality of children’s care plans.
Ofsted praised the trust’s Virtual School, which works to ensure children in care reach their potential.
Services for care leavers were said to have improved significantly, with care leavers being better supported to successfully live independent lives.
SBC cabinet member for children and education Cllr Shabnum Sadiq (Lab, Wexham Lea) said: “After three inadequate inspections we are delighted the council and the trust are delivering progress and better outcomes for children.
“This report shows children services in Slough are moving in the right direction and we look forward to continuing the partnership and supporting the improvements needed to get these services to a consistently good standard.”
Visit www.reports.ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/slough to read the full report.
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