Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham's troubled children's services 'improving'

Birmingham City Council Image copyright PA
Image caption Birmingham's children's services was still rated inadequate in November

Children's services in Birmingham are "improving" and making steady progress, says the government watchdog Ofsted.

Inspectors say the city council has "taken some important steps" in improving services in a report following a monitoring visit.

It was the first monitoring visit since children's services were last judged in November..

The council said it was pleased with the progress, but said there was "no room for complacency".

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The city's children's services have held an inadequate rating since 2008 and were branded a "national disgrace".

In a letter to the authority, Ofsted said: "Although substantial further progress is required before services are consistently good, in a number of key areas in Birmingham are receiving better and timelier services.

"Against a long-standing history of failing to provide good services for children, this represents notable progress."

Inspectors noted:

  • When children are at immediate risk of significant harm, this is quickly recognised and effectively responded to
  • Improvements in management direction and oversight mean that assessments of children's need are now largely completed without delay
  • The quality of services for children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation and for those who go missing have improved
  • Staff morale is generally good

The council's cabinet member for children and families, Brigid Jones, said despite the progress, the authority recognised there was "still a long way to go".

"We have always said that we would need to build strong foundations before we can ensure sustainable improvements," she added.

"However, this is tangible evidence that we are heading firmly in the right direction and I know there will be no complacency as we continue on our improvement."

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