Our ongoing drive to improve its Children’s Services continues, as Ofsted publishes its letter with its findings from a recent monitoring visit on 8 January 2020.

Although the current Ofsted rating itself of inadequate has not changed since 2015, the Ofsted letter acknowledges the progress that is being made. Ofsted acknowledges in the letter that the DfE have appointed a commissioner to support Torbay going forward. They also recognised that social workers in Torbay are highly committed and supported by accessible and visible managers, and that morale is good. 

The letter states:

…leaders have a sound understanding of the key priorities for improvement and recognise the immense challenges they face. Leaders are highly visible and accessible, inspiring increased confidence with the workforce. It is vital that these early signs of progress are secured and sustained.

Councillor Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services for Torbay Council, said: “Although there is still work to be done we are pleased that Ofsted’s letter recognises that things are definitely moving in the right direction.

“In their letter Ofsted praise the accelerated pace of change at Torbay Council, a coherent systematic approach to change, and our desire to create a culture of high expectation and an environment that understands the child’s world.

“The letter also recognises the considerable political support here at Torbay Council to improve our children’s services – we are totally committed to this at the highest level and it is absolutely one of our top priorities going forward.”

Nancy Meehan, Interim Director of Children’s Services for Torbay Council, said: “We welcome the letter from Ofsted and the recent monitoring visit that recognises that although there is still a lot of work to do, progress is starting to be made. Senior leaders within are committed to improve services and children are a priority for the Council.

“We are absolutely committed to improving our children’s services in Torbay – we know what needs to be done, there’s lots to do and it won’t happen overnight - but we have a robust improvement plan in place to support the changes required to make this happen. 

“I have recently been appointed as interim director of children’s services and we have ambitious plans to recruit more permanent social workers to improve capacity and reduce caseloads within the service. We also have a project in place to enhance our support for foster carers – and recruit more of them. We are making changes to our Youth Services including transferring the service and Young Carers to a charitable Youth Trust.”

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