Date Published: 15 April 2020
A scheduled inspection by Ofsted has reported that children in Rutland are being kept safe, while also highlighting areas where local Children’s Services require further improvement.
Inspectors from Ofsted visited Rutland County Council between 2 and 13 March 2020 to review the Council’s Children’s Services. These services are responsible for safeguarding children and young people, working with families, foster care and adoption.
In a report published on Wednesday 15 April 2020, Ofsted confirmed that no children in Rutland were found to be at immediate risk of harm, adding that the Council acts swiftly to address urgent safeguarding concerns whenever they are raised.
The report also acknowledged that leadership of the service has been strengthened over the past year, following the appointment of a new Director of Children’s Services (DCS).
Ofsted identified the following areas for improvement as a result of their inspection:
- Management oversight and decision-making to ensure that children’s cases are comprehensively overseen and their progress is closely reviewed
- The quality of assessments and plans to ensure that they identify needs and lead to improvements in children’s well-being
- Commissioning and contract monitoring arrangements
- Rutland’s housing offer for vulnerable young people and care leavers
- Early permanence planning for children
- The timeliness of foster carer annual reviews
Overall, Ofsted judged that Rutland’s Children’s Services require improvement to be good.
“Ofsted’s recent scheduled inspection of our Children’s Services found that there were no safeguarding issues in Rutland. However, we do need to improve our overall system of care for local children. We think this is a fair assessment and believe that we are already well on the way to making these improvements possible. Undoubtedly, this is a challenging area but there is no shortage of determination and expertise among our staff, who work tirelessly to do the very best for our children and young people. Prior to this latest inspection, we have already taken steps to strengthen our Management Team, to give us better oversight and direction. We have also drawn up a clear Quality Improvement Plan and put in place a new structure to provide regular progress checks. Helped by Ofsted’s findings, I am confident that we can build on work that is already being done in order to achieve the very best results for our children.”
Councillor David Wilby, Cabinet Member for Safeguarding Children and Young People
Rutland County Council has adopted a new approach in the way it governs improvements to Children’s Services, while changes to its management structure that were already underway prior to the Ofsted inspection will be concluded.
Improvement areas and activities that were highlighted during the inspection will continue and a full action plan in response to Ofsted’s findings will be finalised. This will need to be submitted to Ofsted by the 21 July 2020.
Ofsted’s report on Rutland’s Children’s Services, dated March 2020, can be read in full online.