New measures to improve underperforming schools


A new specialist academy trust to take on and turn around the most challenging schools will be launched by the Government.

Commissioner appointed to oversee council’s ‘inadequate’ children’s services


The Government has appointed a commissioner to improve Medway Council’s children’s services after Ofsted rated them ‘inadequate’.

'Slow progress' two years after inadequate judgement


Gloucestershire CC is making ‘slow progress’ in improving its services for its children and young people two years after it was judged inadequate, Ofsted has found.

Council schools get better Ofsted ratings than academies, report finds


Council-maintained schools are more likely to remain ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ than their academy counterparts, new research suggests.

Suffolk CC’s children’s services awarded ‘outstanding’


Ofsted inspectors have awarded children’s services at Suffolk County Council the top grade of ‘outstanding'.

Hull council commits £2m to improve ‘inadequate’ children’s services


Hull CC has promised to ‘accelerate’ its improvement plans and invest an extra £2m into its children’s services after they were rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

New school inspections framework to discourage ‘teaching to the test’


Teachers have welcomed Ofsted's new inspection framework which pledges to focus on curriculum, behaviour and development rather than on test results.

Schools ‘fear-monger’ to remove pupils, survey finds


Teachers have told Ofsted that they want to see more support for parents to help them push back against the practice of ‘off-rolling’.

Ofsted to retain grading system in new inspection framework


Ofsted has decided to retain its current 4-point grading system when it launches its new inspection framework in September.

Call for inspection pause in case of Brexit hit


Council chiefs have urged Whitehall to be ready to ease pressures on the sector for up to six months if Brexit threatens to stretch capacity.

Children ‘not being protected’ by Stoke-on-Trent Council


Children’s social care services are ‘inadequate’ at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, according to the findings of a new Ofsted inspection.

Education watchdog calls time on ‘teaching to the test'


Ofsted says it is moving away from its focus on performance data as the watchdog launches a consultation on proposals for changes to its inspection framework.

Bromley children’s services undergo ‘remarkable’ improvements


Bromley council are ‘extremely proud’ after Ofsted rated their children’s services, which were ‘inadequate’ two years ago, ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ leadership.

Wakefield avoids intervention over children's services


Wakefield Council should retain control of its children’s services, a commissioner has recommended.

Nearly 500 underperforming schools ‘betrayal of children’s futures.’


The chief inspector of Ofsted has warned that the existence of nearly 500 ‘stuck’ schools is ‘nothing short of a scandal.’

Birmingham ‘lacks’ leadership on SEND issues


Birmingham City Council has said it is ‘very disappointed’ by the results of a special educational needs and disabilities inspection and said it would take urgent action to make ‘significant improvements’.

Ofsted ‘fig leaf’ for Whitehall failures on school standards


Ofsted is not providing the level of independent assurance about the quality of education that schools and parents need, MPs warn.

Thousands of children in care where councils are providing failing services, warns report


Politicians have been accused of ignoring a 'silent crisis' of substandard care for children who are later facing social and economic problems in their adult lives.

An 'outstanding' example for children's services


A county in the north of England provides a shining example of how to run children's care services, writes Mark Whitehead.

Inspectors praise Peterborough’s ‘thriving’ children’s services


Inspectors have praised Peterborough City Council for creating the conditions for the city’s children’s services ‘to thrive’.

County first to be rated 'outstanding' in all areas of children's social care


North Yorkshire County Council has become the first authority to receive an ‘outstanding’ grade in every category under the new social care inspection framework.

Wakefield prepare for full Ofsted inspection


Ofsted will carry out a full inspection of Wakefield’s children’s services after they were rated ‘requiring improvement’ two years ago.

Ofsted criticised for not offering ‘value for money’


Ofsted has struggled to meet its inspection targets due to ‘significant’ financial and staffing challenges, auditors say.

Children's services blow for new chiefs


Surrey CC’s children’s services are still inadequate, according to Ofsted – three years after they received the same grade.

Whitehall announces decision to ‘simplify’ school assessment system


Head teachers have welcomed the Government’s decision to ‘simplify’ the system by which schools performance is assessed.

Council’s children’s services remain ‘inadequate’, inspectors say


A re-inspection of Sandwell Council’s children’s services found they remain ‘inadequate’ ahead of the launch of the council’s new Children’s Trust.

Rotherham's children's services rated 'good' in dramatic turnaround


Rotherham Council’s children’s services have been rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted, following three years of Government intervention in the aftermath of the child sexual exploitation scandal.

Nearly 1,000 children's centres not inspected for five years


The Government has been accused of dragging its feet over inspections of children's centres, which have been frozen since 2015.

Children's services in Norfolk no longer need intervention


Norfolk County Council’s beleaguered children’s services no longer require intervention after Ofsted found the council has now improved.

Inspectors find improvements in Birmingham's children's services


Birmingham City Council is continuing to make progress with improving the quality of social work, inspectors have announced.

Worcestershire's children’s services showing ‘tangible’ signs of progress, inspectors say


Worcestershire children’s services are showing ‘tangible’ signs of improvement but require ‘further progress’, inspectors say.

Ofsted inspection reforms could create ‘uncertainty’, head teachers warn


A teachers union has lashed out at Ofsted’s proposals to change the short inspection process, saying it will create a ‘cloud of uncertainty’ in schools.

Dealing with large-scale abuse claims


In the first of a two part review of claims against local authority social services departments, Kella Bowers and Andrew Ellis consider the effects of claims alleging a failure to protect children from child sexual exploitation and abuse in care.

Watchdog finds 'widespread and serious' failiures in children's services in Croydon


Croydon Council has failed to improve children’s services quickly enough, according to a damning report from Ofsted.

Adult training company described as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted


The UK’s largest provider of adult training and apprenticeships has been described as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, sparking speculation about the company’s future.

Ofsted report raises serious concerns over leadership at Gloucestershire


Children's services at Gloucestershire County Council have been rated inadequate by Ofsted.

Inspections to assess local protection of ‘at risk’ children announced


A new set of inspections to examine how local partner agencies - including local authorities - are working together to protect children at risk of neglect will begin next month.

Sunderland completes transfer of children's services to new company


A new company to deliver children’s services has been set up by Sunderland City Council following an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted back in July 2015.

Ofsted announces new social care common inspection framework


Ofsted today announced a new social care common inspection framework (SCCIF) will take effect this April in order to create a more consistent inspections regime.

Worcestershire criticised for 'serious failures’ in children’s services


Worcestershire County Council has apologised after inspectors found ‘widespread and serious failures’ in its children’s services.

Government ‘complacent’ over child protection issues warn MPs


The Government has been accused of being too slow to improve child protection services, a report from MPs has warned today.

Birmingham pledges to turnaround 'inadequate' children's services


The new chair of Birmingham City Council’s children’s trust has insisted that the new model will deliver ‘accelerated’ change as inspectors highlighted continued failings within the authority.

Information-sharing agreement to improve children’s services


A new information-sharing agreement looks set to improve children’s care services across England.

Council hits back at ‘damning’ Ofsted report


Swindon council has hit back at claims children are being ‘failed’ after Ofsted publish a damning open letter about ‘poor performance’ in the city’s schools.

Ofsted chief accuses some police forces of failing on child protection


The chief inspector of Ofsted has criticised police forces for failing to protect children from abuse.

Ofsted chairman quits over ‘offensive’ remarks


The Ofsted chairman has quit his position after describing the Isle of Wight as an ‘inbred, poor, white ghetto’.

Inspections launched into councils’ approach to domestic abuse


New inspections will investigate how well local partners, including councils, work together to protect children living with domestic abuse.

Ofsted chair apologises for ‘inbred white ghetto’ comment


Ofsted’s chairman has apologised and retracted his description of the Isle of Wight as an ‘inbred, poor, white ghetto’.

Amanda Spielman appointed next chief inspector at Ofsted


Amanda Spielman has been officially confirmed as Ofsted’s next chief inspector, despite a cross-party group of MPs trying to block her appointment.

Ofsted: Councils failing to protect vulnerable children missing from education


Birmingham, Bradford and Luton are unable to protect children missing from education from harm, exploitation or extremist ideologies, Ofsted warn.

MPs reject choice for Ofsted's new head


The government’s preferred candidate to head up Ofsted should not be given the role, a committee of MPs has said.

Weak leadership is letting children down says Ofsted


Vulnerable children are being let down by weak leadership in too many local authorities, inspectors have claimed.

Cornwall praised for turning around children's services


Cornwall Council has achieved a radical turnaround of its children’s services.

Sandwell children’s services facing move to voluntary trust


Children’s social care services at Sandwell Council could be transferred to a voluntary trust, after being rated as 'inadequate' by inspectors last year.

Schools inspector blames 'complacency' for education failures in East Midlands


Thousands of children in the East Midlands are being exposed to poor standards in education, according to the schools watchdog.

Ofsted identifies 100 illegal schools in England


Councils must play their part in identifying illegal schools which may be promoting radicalism and extremism, the chief inspector has demanded.

Local authority schools outperform academies, says research


Council-run schools are outperforming academies in Oftsed inspections, research from the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed.

Poor children more likely to go to failing schools finds research


Families are on low incomes are four times more likely than wealthier families to send their child to a struggling primary school, new research has revealed.

Council’s children's services ‘inadequate’, Ofsted warn


A council’s children’s services are suffering from ‘serious and widespread failures’, says Ofsted report.

'Serious weaknesses' at seven multi-academy trusts highlighted


Many multi-academy trusts (MATs) have been manifesting the ‘same weaknesses as the worst-performing local authorities’, the chief inspector of schools has warned.

Inspections of children's services 'not working' say council leaders


Inspections of failing children's homes by Ofsted only make their problems worse, local government leaders have claimed.

Plans to convert coasting schools passed through Parliament


New measures to force councils to convert failing schools into academies have been passed through Parliament.

Report reveals confusion over role of regional schools commissioners


Regional schools commissioners (RSCs) are too detached from councils, schools and communities to effectively monitor the progress of academies, MPs have warned.

Thousands of new school places created in failing schools


More than 100,000 new school places have been created in schools that are already failing, research from the New Schools Network has revealed.

Rise in number of children missing from foster care warns report


The number of children going missing from foster care rose by almost a fifth in the last year, according to the latest report from Ofsted.

County pledges improvement work following 'inadequate' Ofsted rating


Lancashire County Council has unveiled steps it is taking to improve its services for children and young people after a critical Ofsted report.

Councils accused of failing to shut down illegal schools


Local authorities have been accused of not acting quickly enough to shut down illegal schools, by the schools watchdog.

Consultation on government intervention in failing schools launched


The Government has launched its consultation on proposals to remove failing schools from local authority control and converting them into academies.

Councils improving quality of assessments for vulnerable children says watchdog


Councils have made good progress in improving the quality of assessments for vulnerable children, but some concerns over child protection remain, a new report has warned.

Government sends commissioner to Sunderland after damning Ofsted inspection


The Government has stepped in to fast-track improvement at Sunderland City Council after inspectors found ‘serious failings’ in services for children and young people.

Oftsed proposes joint targeted inspections for child protection


Inspectors will have new powers to target local agencies that are failing to work together to safeguard children, under proposals launched today.

Councils forced to convert 1,000 'inadequate' schools into academies


New measures will force councils to convert schools rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted into academies.

County ‘too slow’ to improve schools, says Ofsted


Inspectors have blasted a county for its ‘slow’ action in improving schools, with thousands of local children being educated at low ranking sites.

County says ‘sorry’ to local children after third critical inspection


A county has apologised to local children after its services were rated ‘inadequate’ for the third time in five years by inspectors.

Inspection regime failing to protect vulnerable says report


Ofsted inspections of children’s services are ‘outdated’ and ‘one-dimensional;’ according to a new report from Impower.

‘Toxic’ Ofsted must be scrapped, say teachers


The largest teachers’ union is calling for an end to the ‘toxic influence of Ofsted’ and has pledged to work with the new Government on a successor body.

All councils should be reinspected following Rotherham child abuse, say MPs


All local authorities in England should be examined by Ofsted to ensure they are tackling child sexual exploitation (CSE), a report from a panel of MPs is demanding.

Councils failing to protect children warns watchdog


Over half of local authorities inspected for their children’s social care provision last year are 'not yet good enough', a damning report from Ofsted has warned.

Inspectors label Blackpool’s school improvement plans ‘not fit for purpose’


Blackpool Council’s efforts to improve local schools have been branded ‘not fit for purpose’, with thousands of children thought to be receiving an ‘inadequate’ education.

No evidence of academies improving standards, say MPs


There is no evidence so far that academies are driving improvement in English schools, according to the cross-party parliamentary education select committee.

Council leaders say inspection of efforts to tackle child abuse is ‘blinkered’


Scrutiny of efforts to tackle child abuse is ‘blinkered’ and failing to recognise the ‘true quality’ of local approaches, town hall chiefs claim.

Secondary schools failing to improve warns watchdog


The rate of improvement in secondary schools has ‘stalled’ with 170,000 pupils in ‘inadequate’ schools, according to warnings from Ofsted.

Children's services in Somerset 'inadequate' finds watchdog


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

Tower Hamlets denies 'Trojan Horse' in borough


Tower Hamlets has denied its schools were subject to ‘Trojan Horse’ style Islamic infiltration, following Ofsted inspections.

Ofsted announces 'tough' new inspections of children’s homes


Ofsted has announced plans for a 'tough' new inspection framework to improve standards in children’s homes.

Local government too slow to tackle child exploitation warns Ofsted


Too many councils are ill equipped to prevent child sexual exploitation, they lack leadership on the issue and efforts to work in partnership are ‘disjointed’.

Councils must learn from Rotherham exploitation scandal, say MPs


Local authorities across England have been urged to review their procedures in light of ‘systemic failures’ at Rotherham Council exposed by the town’s child sex abuse scandal.

Town hall chiefs call for urgent review of Ofsted


Council leaders are calling for an independent review of Ofsted, claiming its objectivity has been called into question lately.

No notice Ofsted inspections announced for 40 schools


Ofsted has begun 40 no notice school inspections in the wake of the alleged ‘Trojan Horse’ extremism scandal.

Watchdog warns over failures in reducing NEETs


Local authorities should be given legal powers to ensure all schools and academies provide information on those who drop out of education, according to Ofsted.

Norfolk wins positive result from Ofsted


Inspectors have labelled Norfolk’s school support plans ‘effective’, one year after council efforts came under fire in a series of negative judgements.

Council told to improve school improvement support


Ofsted inspectors have told Walsall MBC its arrangements for supporting school improvement are ‘ineffective’.

Ofsted rates Bucks’ children’s services ‘inadequate’


Education watchdog Ofsted has rated Buckinghamshire CC’s children’s social services ‘inadequate’ in an inspection report issued today.

Government appoints new Ofsted chair


A trustee of the UK’s largest academy chain group has been appointed as the new chair of Ofsted.

Baby P council told to improve


Ofsted has told the council at the centre of the Baby P tragedy its children’s social care service requires improvement.

Council chief hits back at Ofsted boss


The chief executive of Birmingham City Council has hit back at the head of Ofsted after he attacked the authority in an appearance before MPs.

New local trusts should oversee schools, says LGA


Schools should be held to account by local education trusts that answer to councils, according to the Local Government Association.

Councils push for powers over all local schools


Powers to intervene in failing schools must be returned to councils if standards are to be upheld, according to local authority chiefs.

Inspectors find Birmingham ‘failed to support’ schools protecting children from extremism


Birmingham City Council ‘failed to support’ a number of schools in protecting children from extremism, Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has said.

Cameron calls for ‘robust response’ to alleged Trojan Horse schools


Education inspectors Ofsted will today publish the findings of ‘Trojan Horse’ investigations into alleged extremism in 21 Birmingham schools.

Slavery in supply chains image

Slavery in supply chains

Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy explore what responsibility councils may have in the future to eliminate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains.
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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.

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