The coalition has overturned the former government’s decision to award a contract for improving children’s homes to the private consultancy group Tribal.
Driving improvements across residential care had been the responsibility of the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC), based at the National Children’s Bureau. The Labour government’s decision to put the centre’s £300,000 annual funding towards a scheme to raise standards in children’s homes, awarded after formal tender to Tribal, proved controversial.
In a statement, the Department for Education announced a new programme of work to drive improvements in children’s homes, led by the sector and the department. It said: “The department will no longer be awarding an external contract to Tribal to deliver this work.
“The challenge to improve the lives of our most vulnerable children and young people remains a top priority. The department is committed to raising the quality of residential care and improving outcomes for looked-after children. Considerable resources have already been spent trying to raise standards, and while there have been some improvements there is much more to be done.
“Therefore, instead of reinvesting in an external contract, ministers have decided that the most effective and cost-effective way of achieving this change is to work in partnership with the sector to review what is working well and to identify areas for improvement. The Department will be holding events with key partners in the autumn to agree priorities for this work.”
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