A letter from OFSTED published today summarises the findings of their latest monitoring visit to the Council’s children’s services on 16 and 17 January 2018. The visit was the second one since the local authority was judged inadequate in March 2017.
Commenting on the letter, Councillor Paul Hodgkinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats at the County Council, said:
"Despite some progress being made which I welcome including improved staff morale, these are still serious criticisms of the Council, almost a year after Children's Services were inspected by OFSTED and subsequently rated as "inadequate" for the second time. There is a list of failings that have been identified: widespread delays in the system, the quality of assessments of children being too variable and cases taking too long to be dealt with.
“But the most alarming findings are those which show that some children still experience ‘chronic neglect’ whilst others are at risk for too long. For the most vulnerable children to still be at risk of sexual exploitation is extremely disturbing.
"It is clear that the pace of improvement within Gloucestershire is still too slow. What is needed now is a step change in the drive to improve these services and much better direction from management.
"The Conservatives have run the Council for the last 13 years and cannot hide from responsibility. This ship is taking too long to turn around. As OFSTED have said, the pace of change must now accelerate.
“In reality it is the failure of leadership over the years that has left front line staff without the right guidance and it is the county’s children who are suffering as a result.”
OFSTED's letter can be found here: