Response to Ofsted’s Annual Social Care Report

Commenting on the publication of Ofsted’s annual social care report, Dave Hill, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“It is right that we are held to account for the work we do with children and families. Robust and effective inspection is an important part of the continuous improvement journey but the inspectorate’s single worded grading system tells a partial and excessively negative story that destabilises the very services it seeks to improve.

“We are pleased that the correlation between good and consistent leadership in creating the conditions for success has been recognised as has the good work taking place in many local authorities to improve outcomes for children and their families. It is also helpful to know what outstanding looks like, although what works in one area may not work in another. The quality of leadership and social work and sustained investment in early help all have a critical role in achieving great services.

“That a quarter of the local authorities inspected so far are deemed to be inadequate is concerning, but this highlights the challenging times we are in – funds are reducing, particularly in terms of early help services, demand for help and support is increasing as is public scrutiny. It’s easy to take an inadequate judgement at face value but the services we lead and deliver are much more complex than that, as is the improvement process. Our concerns about the SIF are well known and that is why we will continue to work closely with Ofsted on the development of the framework that will replace the SIF.”


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