Newham’s Children’s Services rated ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ Leadership by Ofsted in three-year turnaround.
Today (Wednesday 21 September) Ofsted, the regulatory body for standards in education, children’s services and skills, published a report commending the significant improvements in the quality of Newham Council’s Children’s Services, praising its ‘outstanding’ leadership and describing an ‘environment where good social work can flourish’ in a three-year turnaround driven by Mayor Fiaz and her administration.
Inspectors awarded the Council an ‘Outstanding’ rating for the impact of leaders on social care practice with children and families, and overall, services were rated ‘Good’. This rating is a substantial and significant improvement on an Ofsted verdict from March 2019, with the Council moving up two grades from ‘inadequate’ for its provision of children’s services.
The report follows a series of monitoring visits from Ofsted since March 2019, with the formal re-inspection taking place in July this year. The publication of the report today also marks the end of the Department for Education’s intervention in Newham’s Children’s Services.
In the published report, inspectors said: “Children in the London Borough of Newham receive good-quality services…Leaders are ambitious in delivering effective help, care and protection for children…A highly visible and permanent senior leadership team has brought stability and a transformation in engagement with partners, creating a determined ‘one-council approach’ to providing the services children need to thrive. Leaders, managers and staff have worked unstintingly to drive change. Strategic oversight has been highly effective in safeguarding the most vulnerable children.”
Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz said: “In 2018, when I first became Mayor, I promised to transform the Council and reverse the criminal underinvestment in our children and young people. I made a promise I would place them at the forefront of my administration’s agenda to make Newham the best place for them to be supported and safe so they can thrive. Today’s Ofsted report is evidence the Council is changing and is a major milestone in my commitment that Newham becomes an outstanding child-friendly borough where all young people, regardless of background, are valued and heard”.
“I am so proud of every single member of our Children’s Services team who have valiantly worked with dedication and heart over these past three years to achieve a ‘Good’ rating as well as ‘Outstanding’ for leadership. It’s a turnaround that they should be rightly overjoyed about as a shining example of our investment across all services for young people, representing a 50 per cent increase compared to the 18/19 budget which totals £47m over the last three financial years for young people in this borough who deserve the best. That’s why, as part of my Building a Fairer Newham plans for the four years ahead, we will continue our mission towards excellence for all young people in our borough, especially those with special educational needs and disabilities. The Ofsted report today is a step in the right direction, showing that Newham Council is transforming and delivering the services all our people deserve. We won’t be complacent, and the hard work goes on.”
- Since 2019, Newham Council has focused on transforming its services for children, introducing a raft of measures and committing to the greatest investment in the borough’s young people in a generation. The council was praised by Ofsted for the following:
- ‘Outstanding’ leadership and management and ambition in delivering effective help, care and protection for children
- Strong services for children who need help and protection delivered by a passionate, creative and skilled workforce
- A strong service for children at risk from any form of exploitation, including serious youth violence
- The response to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
- An environment where good social work flourishes with manageable caseloads
- A more permanent, stable and motivated workforce who are passionate about improving children’s lives through creative and skilled social work
- A strong Social Work Academy a relationship-based practice model and an improved professional development offer
- Committed social workers and personal advisors, who really enjoy working in Newham
- A strong, mature response to partnership working and a ‘one-council’ approach which helps children to thrive.
Councillor Sarah Ruiz, cabinet member for Children’s Services said: “I want to thank all our staff and partners who have worked tirelessly to improve our services to the most vulnerable children and young people in the borough. This has been achieved in the most difficult of circumstances with demand for services increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and staff handling some extremely complex issues. We can truly be proud of our children’s services which put young people at the heart of what they do. We will continue to do all we can to ensure all our young people can access the support and opportunities they need to thrive.”
See the full report.