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.

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Income Recovery Assistant

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£20,344 - £23,836 per annum
We are interested to hear from applicants who can demonstrate the following... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior Occupational Therapist or Senior Social Worker

Essex County Council
£39168 - £47405 per annum
Essex County Council continues to review its ways of working during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to work within adult social care with a England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Workers

City of York Council
Various
We are keen to enable our social workers to develop their knowledge and skills to secure the best outcomes for... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Junior Software Developer / Analyst Programmer

North Yorkshire County Council
£19,945
This is a fantastic opportunity for you if you have an interest in and talent for software development and are looking for... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Income Recovery Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
You will be a key player in ensuring prompt and effective early action is taken to control and recover outstanding arrears to eviction stage.    Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue