Inspection of Children’s Social Care Services

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Ofsted?

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Ofsted inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. Ofsted is a non-ministerial Government department.

What did they review?

Ofsted inspectors reviewed specific areas of the children’s services department, including children who need help and protection, children looked after and care leavers, and social work practice. They visited the council and looked at case work in detail, as well as meeting with social workers, managers, the Mayor and Cabinet members and partner organisations. They reviewed documents, performance information and case audits.

Are children safe in Newham?

It’s important to note that the Ofsted report identified that when children in Newham are identified as being in need of help and protection, they are appropriately safeguarded.

Effective work is undertaken with them to reduce risk and address their needs. When children’s circumstances do not improve, timely action is taken by social workers to safeguard their welfare. Children at risk of immediate harm are quickly identified and strategy discussions take place within 24 hours.

What happens if you fail to improve?

We are committed to working internally, as well as with our partners, Ofsted and the Department for Education (DfE) to make improvements. We are making the greatest investment in children’s services in Newham in a generation, and are also bringing in greater leadership to improve capacity and performance and ensure our social workers have the support and resources they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. However, if improvements are not made quickly enough then the DfE could instruct the council to enter into a contract with a third party to deliver children’s services on the council’s behalf.

How will you keep people updated?

Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and elected members have committed to bringing pace to the improvement plan, including through greater oversight at Council, Cabinet, and Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which all meet publicly.

We will publish the action plan and improvement updates on this page and will share updates through the Newham Mag and press releases where necessary.

All of our progress work will be monitored by the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which is open to the public.

We will also work closely with our children and families through our programme of Youth Citizen Assemblies, our staff and our partners.