Ofsted praise Peterborough children’s services - but work still to do

Ofsted have praised the work carried out by Peterborough City Council’s children’s services - but has given the authority work to do.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 1:48 pm
Cabinet member for Childrens Services Education Skills and University, Cllr Lynne Ayres

Ofsted has today published its findings following a focused visit on 22 and 23 June this year.

The letter states that Peterborough City Council are a ‘conscientious corporate parent that looks after most of the children in its care well’.’ Ofsted observed that ‘children in care experience stable placements and are supported by social workers who know them and their histories…. There is a clear and consistent approach to permanency and every effort is made to prevent children from having to move. The local authority’s ‘quality of placement matching is an area of strength.’

Ofsted reports that senior leaders and social workers understand children’s experiences’ ‘and consider ‘their views, needs, wishes and feelings. In addition, social workers apply ‘thoughtful and thorough placement planning and help carers understand children’s needs.’

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The letter details that ‘children in care are involved in a range of activities that influence service development and are confident senior managers listen to their views and take action. Ofsted also noted that senior leaders have a ‘clear understanding and knowledge of practices, experiences, and children’s progress in care’.

However, the letter also outlined work to do, which includes improving the quality and recording of supervision to evidence monitoring of children’s progress and experiences, maximising the impact of audit activity on outcomes for children, and making sure fewer children live at considerable distances away from Peterborough.

Cabinet member for Childrens Services Education Skills and University, Cllr Lynne Ayres commented: “Despite the challenges and restrictions of Covid-19, we have continued to maintain our services to children and families, ensuring those in need still received effective help and support. So, we are incredibly pleased with this vote of confidence from Ofsted and proud that our efforts have been recognised. Thanks, must be extended to our staff, who have continued to show passion and commitment throughout these challenging times. You are our greatest assets.

“But our journey does not end here –there are always areas where we can improve further, and we welcome the recommendations from Ofsted because these help us to focus our attention on improving the things that matter most to children and young people.”

Director of Children’s Services, Lou Williams, said: “After a year like no other, it is really good that Ofsted has confirmed what we believed was the case – that our services deliver good outcomes for children and young people in care. It is particularly positive that inspectors found that our social workers have manageable caseloads and work in stable teams as these things are fundamental to delivering good outcomes for children.

“The report from Ofsted has identified areas where we can improve our services still further, and we will focus our attention on these areas. But I am incredibly proud of the commitment and dedication of our staff, foster carers and the support from associated services including our independent reviewing officers, the virtual school and heatlh services for children in care in delivering the positive results for our children in care as set out by Ofsted. Most of all, I am really pleased to see that Ofsted found that our children in care are confident that we listen to their views and take these into account when planning and developing services.”