Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Tamoor Tariq, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills, presented the report which informed Cabinet of the findings of an Ofsted inspection of the Council’s children’s services. The inspection found the services to be inadequate. The report explained the form of intervention by the Secretary of State for Education and the action already taken to implement improvements. The report also sought approval to the framework for an Improvement Plan which the Council will submit to the Department for Education by 31st March 2022.
Members discussed the report thoroughly, noting the less severe interventions recommended for Bury, being a DfE advisor rather than commissioner. The advisor would work with the Council to develop the improvement plan and feedback regularly to DfE on progress made.
In response to Members’ questions it was noted that pressures had been known internally for some time with work underway before the inspection to address problems. This work was recognised in the Ofsted inspection and means the Council was in a better position to progress and implement changes. Members debated the briefings given to Opposition Members, but it was stated that these problems should be above party politics. With regards to scrutiny, this had been encouraged and a dedicated Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee set up to recognise this.
Councillor Tariq advised that, as Cabinet Member, he had been raising concerns for a long time and had been taking actions to improve the situation, and it was noted this was a managerial failure not a political one. Councillor Tariq advised that it was the responsibility of the Council as a whole to fix these problems, and he was confident we would do.
1. Noted the Ofsted report following the inspection of the Council’s children’s services; and
2. Approved the framework for the Improvement Plan attached at Appendix 2.
Reasons for the decision:
To take swift and decisive action to address the areas for improvement identified by Ofsted.
Other options considered and rejected:
Publication date: 13/01/2022
Date of decision: 12/01/2022
Decided at meeting: 12/01/2022 - Cabinet