‘Good’ rating for children’s services in Suffolk

Cllr Gordon Jones, cabinet member for childrens services,education and skills
Cllr Gordon Jones, cabinet member for childrens services,education and skills

Children’s services in Suffolk are now rated ‘good’ in all areas following an Ofsted pilot inspection.

Suffolk County Council was asked to be a pilot site for Ofsted’s newly-developed inspection framework for Local Authority Children’s Services.

In its last inspection, in 2015, the council was judged as ‘good’ overall, however it took action to improve on this which was reflection in the pilot inspection.

Its rating as ‘good’ in all areas in the September 2017 inspection puts it in the top 25 per cent of all local authorities.

Inspectors were positive about every part of Children’s Services, the quality of work with children and the passion and commitment of everyone they met.

The report said: “The local authority’s commitment to children and families is clear and unambiguous. Staff know children well and are passionate about changing their lives.”

It also noted that: “The local authority has acted on the recommendations from the last inspection, but not all recommendations have been fully implemented.”

Areas that still need to improve include:

- The educational attainment of children in care

- Ensuring every care leaver has a record of their health history

- Including specific actions and measurable timescales in children’s plans

Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said: “It’s fantastic that our children’s services are now rated ‘good’ in all areas. This achievement reflects the hard work and determination of our dedicated staff, making a significant difference to the lives of children and young people.

“We have made considerable progress since the last inspection and we are determined to improve this rating even further going forward.”