BCP Council accepts and regrets the criticisms made as a result of Ofsted’s visit to Children’s Services in October this year.
We have been working hard since our council was formed to create a new service for vulnerable children and families, which they could be proud of. While we have a long way to go, the building blocks for significant improvement are in place. This visit from Ofsted was not an inspection, but we are responding to their recommendations with the same seriousness and gravity as if it were.
We know we have to improve rapidly if our services to local children and families are to meet the standards expected of us. Our staff have worked tirelessly and to great effect to keep children safe despite the exceptional difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but we have to improve our services overall. We are approaching the task ahead with a culture of learning and improvement and we are grateful to the council, all local agencies and the public for supporting us to do what we know we have to do.
Councillor Mike White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “The council has made the improvement in children’s services our top immediate priority and it will stay that way until we have made the improvements we need to make. We have confidence in the new top team to deliver those improvements and as well as supporting them to the hilt, we will be holding them to account to do just that.”
Councillor Sandra Moore, the former Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “We will continue to support the council and the officers as they make the critical improvements to these vital services to support our most vulnerable young people. This is a challenge to the council as a whole, which we must all rise to.”
Graham Farrant, Chief Executive, said: “BCP Council has made improving children’s services our top corporate priority, because of the impact on local children and families who we are there to help, to protect and to care for. Like many councils, we face some big challenges, including financial, but we have committed significant corporate resources and support to ensuring brighter futures for all our young people, including improving children’s social care.”
The full Ofsted letter can be viewed here: https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50156980