Boost for children’s services in Worcestershire

INSPECTORS have withdrawn an improvement notice over safeguarding children’s services in Worcestershire.

Ofsted bosses say the service, which was given a failing status in 2010, has made “significant progress” and have encouraged County Hall to carry on the good work.

The news is a major boost to Worcestershire County Council, and follows the most recent inspection in April, which lifted the status to adequate.

The formal ‘notice to improve’ was removed after MP Tim Loughton, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for children, said standards across social services at the authority had been raised.

Mr Loughton said there were “clear signs” of a “culture which is child centred” rather than focusing on the adults in families where youngsters are at risk.

Councillor Liz Eyre, the cabinet member responsible for children’s services, said: “I’m really delighted by this decision.

“The staff on the front line deserve every credit for stepping up to the plate.

“But we’re not complacent – we now want to move to a good rating as soon as possible and we’ve got the capacity to do that.”

Councillor Adrian Hardman, council leader, added: “This service is absolutely key to the council and we’ve now got a clear pathway to further improvements.”

After the last inspection in March, Ofsted agreed to lift the status from inadequate to adequate but kept the improvement notice in place.

In recent weeks the authority has been lobbying to have it removed.

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