Ofsted inspections of children's services
Progress updates following the 2016 inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers in South Gloucestershire
May 2019: South Gloucestershire Council’s services for children are continuing to improve and the authority has now been taken out of intervention, following an Inspection of Local Authority Children’s Services (ILACS) in March 2019. You can read the inspection report published in May 2019 here.
February 2019: You can read the latest letter from Ofsted that summarises the findings of the monitoring visit to South Gloucestershire children’s services on 10 January 2019 here
November 2018: You can read about the findings of the monitoring visit to South Gloucestershire children’s services on 24 October 2018 in the council press release here and in the latest letter from Ofsted that summarises the findings of the monitoring visit here. The focus of this visit was on support for Care Leavers.
September 2018: You can read the latest letter from Ofsted that summarises the findings of the monitoring visit to South Gloucestershire children’s services on 8 and 9 August 2018 here.
July 2018: You can read the letter from Ofsted that summarises the findings of the monitoring visit to South Gloucestershire children’s services on 22 and 23 May 2018 here. Our Phase Two Children’s Services Improvement Plan 2018-2019, with an additional £767,000 in new funding, was approved by Cabinet on 2 July 2018 and can also be viewed here.
May 2017: Work is well underway within South Gloucestershire Council to improve services for children, following publication of an Ofsted inspection report in February 2017. While adoption services were rated good in the report, it concluded that overall services in South Gloucestershire were inadequate.
In their report, Ofsted recognised that the council was already taking steps to quickly address issues identified. A robust improvement plan to improve services for children and young people is in place. Priority actions include:
- a specific improvement board has been set up for the 0-25 disability service, with focus on stabilising the staffing structure and improving practice
- a review is underway to look at how we can best identify and support children who may be at risk of sexual exploitation
- we are assessing how care plans for looked after children can best meet children’s changing needs or circumstances
- a training needs assessment has been conducted and is now being reviewed to ensure staff are fully equipped with the right skills to help children
- an independent review of the early help offer across South Gloucestershire is underway to understand the current provision challenges and identify clear actions to develop the early help offer
A Children’s Services Improvement Board, chaired by an independent advisor, was established at the beginning of May and meets on a regular basis. The Board oversees progress against the improvement plan and wider practice improvement activities. This includes building on the strengths highlighted within the Ofsted report, including:
- social workers know children well and ensure their views are heard
- adoption performance is rated as good. Children who cannot live with their birth families are routinely considered for adoption and are found caring homes quickly
- children whose needs are clear are referred to the access and response team and social workers and managers swiftly refer them to the right service
- staff feel well supported and cared for by visible and approachable managers. Practitioners are proud to work for the council and consistently say that services are improving.
- Ofsted inspection – press release
- Ofsted report
- South Gloucestershire Council Ofsted improvement plan