Suffolk County Council rated good by Ofsted

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Suffolk County Council’s children’s services have been rated good by Ofsted, a report published today has revealed.

The report, which follows an inspection carried out between November 23 and December 17, praises the work of the council in protecting and looking after children and young people, with some areas of outstanding practice also highlighted.

Suffolk now sits in the top 22 per cent of local authorities in the country, with 78 councils having been inspected under Ofsted’s new framework so far.

No authority has been judged outstanding and of the last 17 inspections across the country, only one authority had been judged good - until Suffolk’s rating.

Ofsted’s report highlights that ‘leaders have a comprehensive understanding of what needs to be achieved and have made sustained progress since the inspection of services for looked after children in 2010 and child protection in 2013, which both were judged to be adequate’.

It says the council ‘is led by dynamic and capable leaders and managers and is delivering a good service overall to children and their families’.

Cllr Gordon Jones, Suffolk’s cabinet member for education, skills and children’s services, said: “This achievement is testament to the work and commitment of all our staff at the authority and the support they receive from local community partners who share our drive and focus to protect vulnerable children and young people in Suffolk, and support families.

“The inspection team’s feedback demonstrates that we are listening to the children and families we work for and their views and experiences are positively shaping the way we do things.

“This is confirmation that we are on the right path and in the areas where we have recommendations for improvement, Ofsted acknowledges that we already have plans in place to deliver success in the future. We are not at all complacent in light of this rating, the team will want to demonstrate further success the next time we welcome Ofsted to Suffolk.”

As part of the same inspection, Suffolk’s local safeguarding children’s board was also rated as good. The board is independent of the council and was set up to ensure partner organisations have good safeguarding arrangements and work together.

Ofsted also recognised the council underpins its services through the adoption of the Signs of Safety framework, an internationally recognised approach to organising and managing casework. Suffolk County Council is one of only a handful of local authorities to fully embed this system into its service.

To see the full report, go to www.ofsted.gov.uk