Slough Children’s Services Trust has not only pledged to step up the pace of change following Ofsted’s latest monitoring visit but has, today, revealed evidence of vast improvements since then.
While inspectors found that significant progress has already been made – from a very low base – the monitoring visit found that core elements of social work practice were not yet evident enough in casework and the pace of improvement has not been swift enough in all areas of practice relating to children looked after.
The fourth Ofsted monitoring visit, concentrated on children looked after, in particular pre-proceeding processes, care proceedings, the joint parenting panel, the quality and consistency of social work relationships with children and the effectiveness of planning for children who return home from care. It took place between 20-21 September and looked at cases chosen before that date.
‘The purpose of these monitoring visits is to help us further identify areas which need more consistently good recording and clear decision-making and we’re fully supportive of that approach,’ said the Trust’s CEO Nicola Clemo.
‘We have just seen an audit of our cases with clear evidence that both ‘inadequate’ and ‘requires improvement’ cases are going down and ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ cases are going up.
‘The monitoring visit was a ‘snapshot’ in time and, since then, we have definitely shifted our position and have turned a corner. We mustn’t underestimate the great strides we have made and we will now further step up our pace of improvements to make sure we better our offer to vulnerable children and their families,’ she added.
‘We have a comprehensive action plan, and have, since the visit, set additional key priorities to ensure we can more clearly demonstrate the work that is being done to improve services.
‘The inspectors identified some very positive work too, including the fact that children feel their voices are heard and we engage well with them. It’s important to stress that no children are at risk or unsafe,’ she added.
The full report can be seen on Ofsted’s website: www.ofsted.gov.uk. The direct link (look for 20 October 2017) is: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/slough