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City achieves 'outstanding' Ofsted rating as Met improves

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Leeds City Council’s children’s social care services have been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, while Calderdale MBC has achieved a ‘good’ rating after previously being subject to government intervention.

Inspectors who visited Leeds in October found multi-agency partnerships strive to support children and families “at the lowest level of intervention”, with “a well-understood practice model” that promotes child-centred work.

A report published yesterday said Leeds is a “committed public parent”, with support for care leavers recently becoming a distinct service providing a greater focus on improving access to education and employment.

Leaders are said to have a “clear and ambitious vision” and a commitment to continuous improvement, which is reflected in an “accurate self-evaluation and improvement plan”.

Investment has also helped to establish an experienced and stable workforce, inspectors said.

Leeds has become the fifth council to be rated outstanding under the new ‘inspection of local authority children’s services’ (ILACS) framework introduced this year and was rated ‘good’ under the previous single inspection framework in 2015.

The government issued a series of directions to Calderdale between 2010 and 2013, when serious concerns were raised by Ofsted about its children’s social care services. The council was subsequently rated ‘requires improvement’ in 2015.

An inspection in November has resulted in a ‘good’ rating with “strong and effective leadership and management” leading to in “substantial improvements in both the quality and impact of social work practice”.

A report published today said: “Corporate parenting and grandparenting are significant strengths in Calderdale. High aspirations and a tangible determination to help, care for and protect vulnerable children are deep-rooted throughout the local authority.”

Calderdale’s director of children and young people’s services Julie Jenkins said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the team and I have personally thanked everyone for all their hard work. We’re delighted by the outcome of this inspection and we are extremely proud and touched by the comments from our young people.

“We are fully committed to continuing our improvement journey as we want the very best for all our children and young people. And we will continue to work closely with our partners locally and share best practice with our colleagues in the sector.”

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