Children's Services Ofsted Update
The Chief Executive to provide a verbal update.
Geoff Little, Chief Executive of Bury Council, provided an update on the progress of the Children’s Services Improvement Programme, covering four areas:
Strengthening Leadership and Management
The new Director of Social Work Practice started this week, who would effectively be the Deputy Director for Social Work over the department, and a Principal Social Worker had been appointed, who would lead development of practice of social workers. In addition, the Lead for Strategy, Assurance and Form and the Lead for Transformation had been appointed. Elsewhere in the service, four new Team Managers had been appointed in safeguarding and a new supervision policy had been adopted to strengthen the quality of frontline management.
Development of Workforce
Cabinet agreed a major overhaul of the structure of the department in July, which was currently out to consultation and was receiving positive feedback so far. The challenge in recruitment continued but further measures were being developed, for example international recruitment, review of offers in some service areas, and piloting changes to improve Business Support in defined service areas.
Adoption of the Family Safeguarding Model of Practice
Since this was approved by Cabinet at their last meeting the DfE have agreed to give bespoke support from Herefordshire Council to implement the new model of practice, which required the highest level of partnership support.
Forthcoming Ofsted Monitoring Visit
At its last meeting the Children’s Improvement Board focussed on detailed partnership contributions to the improvement plan and on the performance of the Children’s Safeguarding team within the Council and improvements being made. This was important as the next monitoring visit from Ofsted was due to take place in October and would focus on child protection planning and processes leading to court proceedings. In addition, Manchester City Council were carrying out a peer review of Children’s protection which, along with the work of the Board, would put us in a better position for the Ofsted visit, the outcome of which would be made public and brought to a future Cabinet meeting once received.
Members thanked Geoff for the update, thanked everyone in Children’s Services for the improvements, and thanked partners across the borough for stepping up and engaging with the improvement plan.
Cabinet noted the update.
Reasons for the decision:
This update was provided in response to a resolution of Council at the meeting held on 19 January 2022.
Other options considered and rejected: