The City & Hackney Local Safeguarding Children Board has become the first in the country to receive an ‘outstanding’ judgement, following an Ofsted inspection of the City of London Corporation’s children’s services.
In the report, inspectors looked at all areas of the Corporation’s service, including its support to children that need help and protection, children in care and care leavers.
The Corporation’s senior leadership team also became only the sixth local authority in England to receive an ‘outstanding’ award. Overall, Ofsted rated its children’s services as ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ aspects.
Ofsted said the Corporation’s “inspiring leaders” had shown “outstanding leadership, management and governance” in providing “exceptional outcomes” for children in its care.
The report says that the Corporation’s looked after children are provided with good education and healthcare, many leisure opportunities, high-quality independent fostering placements and a very effective social work support. Support can continue up to and sometimes beyond, the age of 25, whether or not they are in full-time education.
Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Community & Children’s Services Committee, said:
“This result is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and practitioners. We are committed to helping the children in our care to do well in their lives and achieve their full potential.
“We care deeply about the young people we support and our social workers and children enjoy enduring relationships beyond childhood, which are built on meaningful time spent together.”
Jim Gamble QPM, Independent Chair of the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board, said:
“I am extremely proud of the team in the City and Hackney. Achieving the first outstanding judgement is the result of their hard work and relentless focus on what is best for our children and young people.
“We have built a system that works and it works because of leadership, commitment and a willingness to engage in constructive reflective practice. There is no burden of bureaucracy here. We collectively focus on what matters most, the data that informs debate and the learning that drives improvement.
“Our structure, our approach, our staff and every partner on the Board make a real difference. Ultimately, the investment in a senior professional advisor, right at the heart of the safeguarding team has pushed us and made us smarter.”
Read the full report here.