William Eichler 01 November 2019

Stoke-on-Trent CC given three months to improve ‘inadequate’ children’s services

Stoke-on-Trent CC given three months to improve ‘inadequate’ children’s services  image

The secretary of state for education has issued a statutory direction which gives Stoke-on-Trent City Council three months to establish a partnership with another council to deliver children’s social care.

Ofsted rated Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s children’s services ‘inadequate’ earlier this year, prompting the council to invest £5.5m into over 130 new social care posts.

A four-month review by the children’s commissioner Eleanor Brazil has concluded that the responsibility for managing children’s services in Stoke-on-Trent will remain with the city council while a further review is carried out.

The review considered various options for the future delivery of services, including the possibility of sharing a director for children’s services with another local authority and delivering the services through a trust.

Gavin Williamson has given the council until 31 January 2020 to establish an agreed formal partnership arrangement with ‘a strong-performing’ local authority to provide support in delivering all of its children’s social care functions.

Mr Williamson’s direction states that the partnership must be agreed by him and that if it cannot be brokered, alternative arrangements for delivering the services will need to be sought.

Cllr Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and cabinet member for corporate resources, strategy and partnerships, said: ‘We are fully committed to doing all that we can to improve the quality of our response to vulnerable children.’

‘Clearly as the review shows, there is considerable work still to be done to get services to where they need to rightfully be,’ Cllr Brown continued.

‘We are also fully committed to working with the Department for Education and minister to identify the right partner authority that will allow us to make the progress we need to make for the benefit of all children in the city.

‘We know the challenge we are facing is significant, but we are determined to provide the best possible support we can for the children of Stoke-on-Trent and will do all that is needed to make this happen,’ she added.

Cllr Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people said: ‘The children’s commissioner recognised through the review that progress is beginning to be made on some issues but that the pace of change is too slow.

‘It is going to take time and a lot of hard work and commitment, but with the additional expert advice and support that is being provided by Government, we’re confident that improvements can be delivered across all aspects of children services.’

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

SEN Caseworker Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£29,636 - £32,029 per annum pro rata
The ideal candidate will have experience of working with children and young people with SEND or additional needs in children’s services including... Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Speech and Language Therapist - Personalised Learning Pathways

North Yorkshire County Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum pro rata
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the PLP programme which supports young people (16-25) to develop and progress through... North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Senior Social Workers x3 - FS&P - Basildon

Essex County Council
£39164 - £47404 per annum + + Free Parking & Excellent Package
We are looking for an experienced, motivated and creative social worker to join our team. England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Deputy Chief Executive & s.151 Officer

Wychavon District Council
package to £90k
This is an exceptional career development opportunity, and the perfect role for a talented public service leader with ambition. Worcestershire
Recuriter: Wychavon District Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
Up to £237 per day + Umbrella
Managing a defined caseload, the social worker is responsible for working effectively with children, young people and families/carers to achieve positive change and improved outcomes. England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County 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