Children services in Rotherham to be inspected early by Ofsted

Education secretary announces the early inspection following a damning inquiry into Rotherham child protection failures

Rotherham’s children’s services will be subjected to an early Ofsted inspection, it has been announced.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan announced the early inspection in a statement today, adding: “I will not hesitate to take further action if necessary to ensure children are safe”.

The move follows an independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham, which revealed child sexual abuse had been ‘suppressed or ignored’ in Rotherham, where at least 1,400 young children were found to have been raped and abused.

Children’s minister Edward Timpson expressed his “horror” at the inquiry’s findings, saying he found the scale of the failure to safeguard children, over such a long period, “genuinely shocking”.

It also follows news that the HCPC is making inquiries on whether fitness to practice hearings need to happen in the council, and the NSPCC is calling for criminal action to be considered against those found responsible for failing children.

In a letter to the council, Timpson also requested more detail about the steps being taken to tackle the published action plan.

“I would like to be clear about the action you are taking: a) to deal with the concerns expressed in the report about risk assessment and risk management and b) to tackle the worries in the report about the continuation of work with individual children”, Timpson wrote.

The action plan sets out 15 recommendations for the council, including to improve risk assessments for children at risk of CSE.

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