Rutland County Council has welcomed feedback received from Ofsted as part of preparations for any future inspection of its Children’s Services.
The Council’s Children’s Services hosted a focused visit by Ofsted on 24 and 25 January 2023. This looked specifically at professional practice relating to child protection and children in need.
Focused visits play an important role in helping local authorities to prepare for future Ofsted inspections by highlighting good social work practice that should be maintained, as well as identifying areas where further improvement is needed.
As part of the visit, inspectors looked at a range of evidence, including case discussions with social workers, performance management, quality assurance information and children’s case records.
Among their main findings, inspectors noted that Rutland’s social work practice is positively informed by an understanding of children’s day-to-day lives. Inspectors also praised leaders at Rutland County Council for having a clear understanding of what improvements are needed, as well as prioritising help for children who are at risk. Rutland social workers and their managers know children well and recognise there is work to do to make sure all services for children and families are consistently effective.
Rutland County Council highlighted to Ofsted where a short period of insufficient management oversight had led to shortfalls in supervision and visits for a very small number of children. However, inspectors agreed that effective action had been taken to address this.
Ofsted’s outcome letter, published on Tuesday 28 February, listed three aspects of social work practice where further improvement would be beneficial:
- The robustness of management oversight
- The effectiveness of the quality assurance measures in informing improvements
- The quality of assessments
“Ofsted have provided us with a balanced summary of their recent visit, which very much reflects our own internal assessments of where we are doing well and where there is room for improvement. In response, we have already updated our development plan for children’s services, with a particular focus on achieving greater consistency. We have also strengthened our frontline management and supervision of child in need and child protection work, while our Children’s Services Improvement Board will continue to provide scrutiny and challenge to make sure these improvements are sustained.”
Cllr David Wilby, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services
The full outcome letter published following January's focused visit to assess Rutland’s Children’s Services can be read on the Ofsted website.