Council’s Children Services rated “outstanding”
The Council’s Children’s Services have become the first in the Midlands and the first outside of London to transform services from “requires improvement to be good” to “outstanding”.
The landmark rating follows a rigorous three week inspection by Ofsted during January – and council leader Councillor Shaun Davies hailed it as a “massive external validation” of the council’s services.
“I am absolutely delighted that our teams have secured an outstanding judgement from Ofsted,” said Councillor Davies.
“This really is a remarkable result for our teams, our social workers, the community and children and young people of Telford and Wrekin.”
Councillor Davies had only been leader of the council three weeks when Ofsted judged the council as “requires improvement to be good” following the last inspection four years ago.
In the wake of that judgement, the council devised a focused plan to address the issues raised. This has included re-investing money raised through commercial enterprises like Nuplace and the solar farm in children’s services.
“Being judged outstanding puts us in the top performing councils in the UK and supports our approach and I am very proud of all the staff who have worked so hard to achieve this,” added Councillor Davies.
“We have been ruthless in making sure we are improving our services but we are not going to rest on our laurels here.
“We are ambitious and aspirational for the future and we want to further build on our outstanding and nationally recognised practice.”
The only other council that has made the jump from requires improvement to be good to outstanding is Bexley, making Telford & Wrekin Council the only authority outside of London to make that leap.
Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Children and Young People and Education, said: “This is an astonishing achievement and one that we can be extremely proud of.
“Since 2011, we have been focused on improving our children’s services, ensuring every part of the council puts children at the heart of everything we do.
“We put in place a focused plan to make sure we addressed the issues Ofsted raised last time and we are delighted our hard work over the last three years has been recognised.
“We have a clear and ambitious vision for vulnerable children and families in Telford and Wrekin to provide a service for every child that we would all welcome for our own.”
Lorna Fitzjohn, Ofsted’s Regional Director for the West Midlands, said: “Children in Telford and Wrekin benefit from high quality social work and an impressive range of specialist services that improve their well-being and help to protect them from harm.
“Children are valued and receive child-focused services tailored to their individual needs. Children are listened to and their experiences are well understood and inform planning to improve their lives.
“Corporate parenting is exceptionally strong. Children are cared for and they are cared about.”