Andrew Williamson, drafted in to review Jersey’s children’s services, makes some eminently sensible recommendations in his report.
Many of the concerns about malpractice which gave rise to the review would probably have been avoided if the fairly ordinary arrangements that he suggests had already been in place, including a children’s minister and a whistleblowing policy for staff.
Arguably, most important of all is his call for external scrutiny of the island’s children’s services. Jersey has confirmed once again what experience has often taught, namely that services tend to go wrong in the absence of independent oversight because of error, complacency or worse.
But this independence must be guaranteed, difficult on such a small island. This is why it still makes sense to bring in Ofsted from the UK mainland.