Berkshire

Reading council plans to outsource children's services

Reading Council Image copyright Google
Image caption Reading Borough Council said it would consult with staff and trade unions before the proposals were finalised

A council criticised for its "significant weaknesses" by Ofsted has revealed plans to outsource its children's services.

Reading Borough Council said it wanted to launch a company independent from the authority which would operate within its own ring-fenced budget.

It comes after the council was told by Ofsted that its children's services were improving "too slowly".

The council said it hoped the company would be launched by September 2018.

In a statement issued on Friday, Labour council leader Jo Lovelock said the authority would "hold the company to account for performance".

"Every organisation involved in children services in Reading accepts the pace of improvement is not quick enough," she said.

"Transferring children's services to a stand-alone council-owned company will ensure a single and dedicated focus on children's care in Reading, allowing social workers and other staff to concentrate solely on their jobs."

The council said it would consult with staff and trade unions before the proposals were finalised.

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