Jamie Hailstone 28 June 2016

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.

In Ofsted’s third social care annual report, which was published today, the watchdog warns there are too many inadequate children’s services departments across England.

According to the inspectorate, a quarter of children’s services departments (21) are rated as inadequate and 43 require improvement.

The report also concluded inadequate ratings are not related to area size, levels of deprivation or funding. Instead, the inspectors said the quality of leadership in the departments was the single most important factor.

‘While we have seen some green shoots of progress, too many areas are still failing the children they are charged with protecting,’ said Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw.

‘As I have said many times before, the driving factor that makes change happen at pace is good leadership. Areas that are letting children down must look to their higher performing counterparts with urgency, and follow their example.’

The report also found wide variations in workloads for social workers, with some dealing with up to seven children in need at a time, while others were dealing with as many as 34.

But inspectors said the picture for residential care was improving and four out of five children’s homes are now rated as good or better.

‘There can be no doubt that local government has the commitment and expertise required to turn around struggling services, without the need for externally imposed structures or operating models,’ said the chairman of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, Cllr Roy Perry.

‘Giving councils the time to establish solid foundations for improvement, learn from other authorities and embed new processes and learning is vital for them to move forward for the benefit of their local areas.’

Sir Michael Wilshaw told The MJ he was ‘very tempted’ to name and shame poor performing individual managers in future reports.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Estate Surveyor x2

City of Bradford MDC
£28,226 - £42,614
The Council has an opportunity for a general practice and agricultural MRICS/FRICS qualified Estate Surveyors. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Apprenticeship Hub Account Manager

Stoke-on-Trent City Council
£30,095 - £32,798
A fantastic opportunity has recently opened for an ambitious and dynamic individual with a background in sales. Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Recuriter: Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Customer Access Officer x3

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£31,122 - £32,112
We have three exciting opportunities within our Housing Inclusion Service, for people looking to further their career in housing. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Construction Quality Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£30,984 - £35,336
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s Urban Design & Building Services team is looking to employ a permanent Construction Quality Officer. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£37,260 - £45,381
In Kensington and Chelsea, we support people’s independence and wellbeing. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

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.