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A message from Patrick Leeson:

13 June 2017 weekly update

13 June 2017

This week, Patrick gives an overview following today’s publication of Ofsted’s Inspection Report of KCC Children's Services.

Dear Colleagues

Ofsted Inspection Report on KCC Children’s Services

As you may know Kent County Council’s children’s services were inspected by Ofsted in March and today the inspection report is published. The inspection report is available here.

Ofsted concluded:

“Kent County Council is delivering a good service to children and families.” Our overall grading judgement is Good.

The report recognises the substantial improvements that have taken place across children’s services, including Early Help. It is a significant achievement to have the quality of our practice recognised by Ofsted across Specialist Children’s Services and Early Help. Other services relating to children missing education, elective home education, exclusions and Youth Justice were also part of the inspection and contributed to the positive outcome.

Services for children who are looked after, adoption and care leavers were judged to be good by Ofsted, while help and protection services for children in need and child protection were judged to be requiring improvement. Overall, leadership and management were rated good by Ofsted.

It is very positive that the inspection report recognises that children benefit from a wide range of Early Help Services. The inspection report states:

‘Across Early Help and SCS we have seen many examples of good quality work and effective achievement of good outcomes for children. Staff have meaningful relationships with children and know them well. Early Help assessments are mostly good, Early Help plans are well targeted and set clear expectations. Step down panels are appropriate and families experience a smooth transition. …

Childrens centres and youth hubs ensure that support is available as soon as it is identified. Intensive Early Help is delivered successfully through early help units across Kent. Services are commissioned with a good knowledge of local communities and their needs. Children are increasingly safe and supported, and the use of Signs of Safety is improving outcomes.’

As with any inspection process, there are a number of recommendations and areas for improvement, particularly in respect of our services for Help and Protection and a Development Plan will be produced to move these forward. The report provides a good basis for taking forward our work to integrate services further and achieve on-going improvements to the ways that we work with children and families.

This is a significant achievement for Kent. Just under 30% of local authority children’s services are rated good or outstanding and we should be proud that our work has been recognised in this way. The report is positive recognition for all our staff who have contributed to these very positive outcomes, and to schools and other partners in the Police and the Health Service who work effectively to support and safeguard vulnerable children and young people.

Patrick Leeson
Corporate Director
Children, Young People and Education