Laura Sharman 01 March 2022

Solihull ordered to improve children's services

Solihull ordered to improve childrens services image
Image: Elliott Brown / flickr

The Government has ordered Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to make urgent improvements to its children’s social care services following ‘serious’ concerns over how it protects vulnerable children.

A joint inspectorates’ report published last week found children in need of help and protection in Solihull wait too long for their initial assessment. The report was commissioned following the murder of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

The Department for Education has now issued the council with an improvement notice following ‘serious practice concerns’ and evidence of ‘unassessed and unknown risk’.

The council has been ordered to implement an improvement plan that will deliver ‘appropriate and sustainable’ improvement.

The DfE will review progress against the improvement plan at least every six months and has appointed an improvement advisor to assist the council with the changes.

The notice warns ministers may intervene at the council or direct it to enter into an appropriate arrangement if it fails to make the necessary improvements.

Cllr Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, said: 'The Council recognised the urgency of the situation and we have already set up an Improvement Board. This will drive through the necessary changes, as outlined in the recent Joint Target Area Inspection (JTAI), in both Solihull’s Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP) and within the organisations that make up the Partnership – the Council, West Midlands Police, Birmingham & Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group and Probation Services.

'We welcome the extra support and guidance the Department for Education is providing to us through its Improvement Notice and the appointment of Gladys Rhodes-White as their Improvement Adviser, who will also to join our Improvement Board.

'The Improvement Board, which will be chaired by the experienced Penny Thompson CBE, will support, oversee, and importantly challenge partner organisations with responsibility for safeguarding children, on their progress in delivering an updated Improvement Plan.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.