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Children’s social care in city singled out for praise

Published on Thursday, December 14, 2017

Leicester’s social care services for children have been singled out for praise in Ofsted’s annual report.

The report, published this week by Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman, looks at the range of inspections carried out by Ofsted over the past 12 months, including inspections into schools, early years and local authority children’s services.

Its aim is to drive improvement – by highlighting both examples of good practice, and areas where more needs to be done to raise standards.

One of the areas it highlights is ‘good basic social care practice’, which it says is vital to ensure good outcomes for children.

It says social care services should focus on reasonable caseloads, as well as ‘supportive but challenging line management that proactively manages the whole system.’

Leicester City Council is praised as one of two authorities previously rated as inadequate that has “embraced the need for change, focused on standards and worked to create an environment where social work can flourish”. It says an unwavering focus on getting the basics right has led to improvement.

Leicester is now rated as requiring improvement, but was judged good for its leadership, management and governance.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell said: “We’re extremely proud of the progress we’ve made in Leicester. Our improvement journey is by no means over, but we’ve worked very hard to raise standards and it’s great to get recognition for that in a national report.

“The fact that our leadership and management has now been rated good shows that we now have the right structure in place to further improve.

“We want to ensure that we provide a good service for Leicester children and their families in the future – a service we can all be proud of.”

Director of children’s services Frances Craven said: “This is an endorsement of the hard work we’ve carried out to improve things since our inadequate judgement. We’ve made significant changes to staff culture, we’ve ensured there’s an improved system for monitoring work and we’ve stabilised the management structure.

“What’s made a difference is establishing an environment where every member of staff feels valued and recognises the important role they play in keeping children safe in Leicester.

“I’m really pleased this has been recognised by Ofsted.”

The annual report from Ofsted can be read at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ofsted-annual-report-201617-education-childrens-services-and-skills

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