Newham’s Children’s Services has been rated ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ leadership by Ofsted in a three year turnaround.
Today (Wednesday 21 September) Ofsted, the regulator of standards in education, children’s services and skills, released a report praising Newham Council’s significant improvements in the quality of children’s services, praising their “outstanding” leadership and an “environment where good” is described Social work can thrive in a three-year turnaround driven by Mayor Fiaz and her administration.
The inspectors gave the Council an ‘Excellent’ rating for the influence of leaders on child and family welfare practice, and an overall rating of ‘Good’ for services. This rating is a substantial and significant improvement on an Ofsted ruling in March 2019, which saw the Council move up two grades from “inadequate” for its provision of services to children.
The report follows a series of surveillance visits by Ofsted since March 2019, with the formal re-inspection taking place in July this year. Today’s release of the report also marks the end of the Department of Education’s intervention in Newham’s Children’s Services.
In the published report, the inspectors said: “Children in the London Borough of Newham are receiving quality services…Leaders are ambitious in providing effective help, care and protection for children…A highly visible and enduring leadership team has brought stability and transformation in collaboration with partners.” create a resolute “one council approach” to provide the services children need to thrive. Executives, managers and employees have worked tirelessly to drive change. Strategic oversight has been very effective in protecting the most vulnerable children.”
Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “In 2018, when I first became mayor, I pledged to transform the council and reverse criminal underinvestment in our children and young people. I have promised to put them high on my Government’s agenda to make Newham the best place for them to be supported and safe to thrive. Today’s Ofsted report is evidence that the Council is changing and a major milestone in my commitment to Newham becoming a superb child-friendly borough where all young people, whatever their background, are valued and heard.”
“I am so proud of each and every member of our Children’s Services team who has worked bravely, with dedication and heart over the past three years to achieve both Good and Excellent ratings for their leadership skills. It’s a turnaround that they should rightly be excited about as a shining example of our investment in all services for young people, which represents a 50 percent increase compared to the 18/19 budget that has been in the last three financial years for young people people totaling £47million in this district who deserve the best. For this reason, as part of my Building a Fairer Newham plans for the next four years, we will continue our mission of excellence for all young people in our district, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities. Today’s Ofsted report is a step in the right direction and shows that Newham Council is transforming and delivering the services that all of our staff deserve. We will not be complacent and the hard work continues.”
- Since 2019, Newham Council has focused on transforming its services to children, introducing a range of measures and committing to the largest investment in the borough’s young people in a generation. The council was commended by Ofsted for:
- ‘Outstanding’ leadership and management and ambition in providing effective support, care and protection for children
- Strong services for children in need of help and protection provided by a passionate, creative and skilled workforce
- A strong ministry for children at risk of all forms of exploitation, including serious youth violence
- The response to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children
- An environment in which good social work with manageable case numbers thrives
- A more enduring, stable and motivated workforce passionate about improving the lives of children through creative and skilled social work
- A strong social work academy, a relationship-based model of practice, and improved continuing education offerings
- Dedicated social workers and personal advisers who love working in Newham
- A strong, mature response to collaborative partnership and a “one council” approach that helps children thrive.
Councilor Sarah Ruiz, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “I would like to thank all of our staff and partners who have worked tirelessly to improve our services to the most vulnerable children and young people in the district. This has been achieved under the most difficult of circumstances as demand for services increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic and staff were handling some extremely complex issues. We can be really proud of our children’s ministries, which put young people at the center of their work. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure all of our young people have access to the support and opportunities they need to thrive.”
See the full report.