Stoke & Staffordshire

Ofsted reports safeguarding children service 'adequate'

The services that look after vulnerable children in Stoke-on-Trent have been found to "only meet minimum requirements", according to an inspection report by Ofsted.

But Ofsted officers found improvements on six years ago, when the same services were described as "poor".

The city council says it is "thrilled" by the findings, but still wants to improve.

The report focused on the 432 looked-after children in the city.

In 2006, the council's children's services was judged to be performing poorly and failed to meet government standards. The following year, an external company, Serco, was brought in to run things.

In 2010, the department was released from government intervention.

'Really rewarding'

In the latest report by Ofsted, which specifically looks at safeguarding services, the council's official rating is "adequate"- which is one above the lowest rating - "inadequate", and two below the top rating, which is "outstanding".

The city council, along with its partners, the police and the NHS were rated as "good" in 14 of the 22 inspection categories, "adequate" in seven, but found to be "inadequate" in the economic prospects for looked-after children.

Sharon Menghini, who is in charge of children's services at the city council, said: "We are absolutely thrilled with the Ofsted outcome.

"We recognise how far our services and our work with partners has come since we were in formal intervention.

"But actually, it's really rewarding for staff to see recognition now in black and white for the amount of progress we've made."

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