Laura Sharman 26 November 2014

Children's services in Somerset 'inadequate' finds watchdog

Childrens services in Somerset inadequate finds watchdog image

Somerset County Council has come under fire for ‘inadequate’ children’s services following an Ofsted inspection.

Ofsted’s first multi-remit focused inspection found ‘too many’ services were judged ‘inadequate’ across the county, with a third judged less than good.

The report said that while education standards are improving, none of the children’s homes inspected were judged ‘good’ or better and two children’s centres serving over 13,500 were judged inadequate.

Bradley Simmons, Ofsted’s regional director for the South West said: ‘The council deserves credit for its role in improving the performance for primary and secondary children from both disadvantaged backgrounds and the most able students.

‘However, it is disheartening to see that the most vulnerable children, young people and families who rely on crucial services for care and support are being let down.

‘Urgent action is required if the council is to secure timely and effective arrangements for the safety and wellbeing of children living in the county.’

The watchdog has called on the council to improve the consistency and quality of care of its children’s homes and improve safeguarding of children.

Somerset County Council said it welcomed the report and would make urgent improvements where necessary.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, cabinet member for children’s services, said: ‘Everyone knows much improvement is needed urgently in many areas, but it’s important also to recognise the positives. We have put a lot of effort into supporting improvements in primary schools and that is making a difference for children. Our PRUs are doing well and I am pleased to note the strengths of the FE college inspected.’

The council added it had already decided to close both of the children's homes judged to be inadequate before the inspection took place and is working with the children's centres featured in this report to implement improvements.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Trainee Craft Employee x6

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£18,795 - £19,945 per annum
Seeking to recruit several Trainee Carpenters within the Asset Management and Maintenance Service. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£26001.0 - £30000.0 per annum
Please note this role is based in Clacton and is open to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs). The starting salary for NQSWs is £27,775 per annum an England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth

Durham County Council
Seeking candidates who are adept at building relationships, able to work successfully with regional and national partners... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine