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Ofsted say children’s services in Surrey ‘requires improvement to be good’

March 9, 2022 12:07 PM

Woman sitting between two children on bench - rear view (Benjamin Manley on unsplash.com)Ofsted have published their latest inspection report into Surrey County Council's children's services and rated the Council's service as one that 'requires improvement to be good'

The report notes that "Services are no longer inadequate, but despite accelerated improvements since 2018, overall progress has been slow since services were first judged inadequate in 2015."

This latest inspection has shown that Surrey's services for children and families have improved since the 2018 inspection, but that they are still below the standard they should be and 'require improvement to be good'.

Lib Dem Group Leader on Surrey County Council, Will Forster, said:

"The Lib Dems and I congratulate the Council's hardworking staff on improving services for children and families since the last Ofsted inspection. However, this latest report still makes tough reading as Surrey County Council has made painfully slow progress at improving services to vulnerable children."

"The County Council needs to do better as children in Surrey deserve better. There are too many inconsistencies in the services the Council delivers which mean that some children are falling through the cracks and not getting the help they need when they need it."

Lib Dem Deputy Group Leader on Surrey County Council, Fiona White, added:

"I welcome the finding that there have been improvements to Surrey's children's services since the last inspection in 2018. However, it is disappointing that the Council still requires improvement to be good in six keys areas of the inspection. I am not surprised at the finding as it is clear from my casework that a lot of work still needs to be done to bring the service up to an acceptable standard. We should never forget that every child who does not get the care they need is a child that Surrey County Council has failed".

Ofsted outlined six key areas the County Council needs to improve, namely:

  • "The quality and effectiveness of assessments and plans for all children, including disabled children, homeless 16- and 17-year-olds and privately fostered children.
  • Partnership work to secure support for children and young people's mental health and well-being.
  • The provision of essential information to carers about children, and viability assessments to inform placements with friends or family.
  • The sufficiency of suitable accommodation for young people, including care leavers.
  • The quality and impact of supervision to ensure that decisions are timely and support the progression of children's plans.
  • The proportion of permanent staff, to reduce turnover."

Please read the full Ofsted report here: 50178857 (ofsted.gov.uk)