Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight child protection services 'improve'

Child protection services on the Isle of Wight have improved, but are not yet effectively safeguarding young people and families, Ofsted has found.

They were ranked "inadequate" in 2012, which was upped to "requires improvement" in the latest inspection.

The report said Isle of Wight Council was "not yet delivering good protection and help" for children.

However, it said any widespread or serious failures were being "effectively addressed".

The report said the quality of practice was not "consistently good enough".

It also said not all children in care benefit from timely initial health assessments, and one in five is not registered with a dentist.

Ofsted also said local councillors needed to become more engaged in "effective scrutiny" of children's services and developing the role of "corporate parenting" for children in care on the island.

'No illusions'

Children's services on the island have been run by Hampshire County Council since June 2013 after the Department for Education (DfE) raised concerns about schools, and child protection services were rated "inadequate" in November 2012.

Ofsted said this partnership between the two authorities was "providing essential stability" and "driving demonstrable improvements" across children's services on the island.

John Coughlan, director of children's services at Hampshire County Council, said the report demonstrated a "genuine leap forward".

He added there was a "great deal of work still to be done" to achieve a "good" Ofsted rating for the island's child protection services.

"From the outset, we have been under no illusions that our journey of improvement is likely to take up to five years for us to be where we want to be," he added.

In August, Isle of Wight Council said its predicted school results for 11 and 16 year olds in 2014 were moving closer to the national averages for 2013, and the proportion of primary schools judged as "good" by Ofsted was in line with the national average.

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