Twice as many excellent services as last year, says Ofsted

Twice the number of councils are providing excellent children’s services compared with last year, according to Ofsted’s 2010 children’s services assessments, published today.

Twenty councils received an excellent rating, 77 performed well and 37 provided adequate services. Twelve performed poorly.

Ofsted has not published the outcomes for six authorities today because further inspections are still to be carried out.

“In the very best authorities, the expectations are high and the large majority of services are good or outstanding,” said chief inspector Christine Gilbert. “Children and young people generally receive a consistently high level of support from the time they start in nurseries or childcare, through school and, as they enter further education, training or employment.

“It is also the case that these authorities are well organised to keep children safe from harm – in particular, those children who are most at risk.”

Gilbert said the councils that performed poorly were put in this category primarily because of shortcomings in safeguarding.

Shireen Ritchie, chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said the the number of children’s services rated excellent was encouraging.

“However, where standards have been judged as poor, there is no doubt that more needs to be done to make improvements and help those authorities to get up to standard,” she said.

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