Ofsted inspectors find Newham children's services are 'improving'

Children at St. George's C of E Primary School in Stockport,play hop scotch during playtime.

Ofsted inspectors have said Newham children's services are improving. - Credit: PA

An Ofsted inspection reports that Newham Council's children's services are improving.

In a report published on Tuesday (October 19), inspectors found services are getting better as managers show "a clear understanding" of areas where improvement is needed with "robust" plans in place to address them.

Cllr Sarah Ruiz, lead member for education and children social care, said: "I am really encouraged by the findings and pleased they have acknowledged the significant improvements made to the service.

"Our aim is to deliver a first-class service to our young people and this report shows we are on the right track to achieve that."

The two-day inspection in September reviewed Newham's progress since a 2019 inspection rated its children’s services "inadequate", the lowest rating.

Inspectors spoke to managers, social workers, children and foster carers for the latest probe.

Among the findings, the report states children's voices are more noticeable in decision-making; there is a "good" focus in care plans on youngsters' needs and the majority of care leavers are in accommodation meeting their requirements.

The report notes a more stable management team has helped staff understand the organisation’s vision.

Managers are also hailed for taking opportunities to meet children, young people and staff to build relationships.

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It also found some delays in finding a permanent solution for some children in need of long-term fostering.

Ofsted describes plans outlining the care required by youngsters as "detailed" but not always updated in a timely way for some.

Care leavers' achievements are "not always celebrated on an individual level" and there is "some variability" in managers' analysis of staff practice, the report says.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz said nothing is more important than young people, which is why the council has invested more than £36million in services for youngsters since 2018.

She added this had boosted the budget by 33 per cent with youth worker numbers increasing from three to 43.

"A big factor in our previous inadequate rating was, prior to 2018, the council did not invest nearly enough in making our young people safe. I am determined our young people get the support they deserve," she said.

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