Salford Council’s children’s services department is at risk of government intervention following its latest Ofsted report rating safeguarding services as “inadequate”.
A spokesman from the Department for Education said: “Ministers will meet the council shortly to discuss the inspection findings and consider what action to take to ensure services are improved swiftly.
“The government is concerned that services have deteriorated once again and wants to see that improvement can be sustained in the long term.”
Council leader John Merry accepted the findings, but said the council had a lot of plans already underway to improve services.
“I am not going to pretend the report is not critical and I am deeply concerned about the problems it outlines,” he said. “We could and should be doing better in some absolutely key areas.
“We now have a new leadership team in place which is driving through the necessary improvements and I have asked for inspectors to come back in six months to ascertain what progress we have made.”
Ofsted inspectors noted there was a new leadership team in place but it had not yet had the sufficient time to make a long term difference.
The inspectorate rated the authority’s performance in 33 different areas. They found four were “good”, 21 “adequate”, but eight “inadequate”, mostly in the safeguarding service.
Merry said: “I have asked for this follow-up inspection so that our progress can be independently verified. It won’t be a case of me having to reassure people that we are doing better, there will be an independent verdict which will be made available to the public.”
A Salford spokesman said the council did not know when the government would make its decision about whether to intervene or not.