At Ofsted, we have been clear about what needs to improve in local authority children’s services departments.
What will ILACS mean for local authority children’s services? Well first and foremost, I believe this is a step forward for inspection that will make a genuine and positive impact on children’s lives.
It’s National Care Leavers week (25 October – 03 November), a great campaign that quite rightly focuses the attention of professionals and politicians on this important group of young people.
Back in 2010 Professor Eileen Munro said that social workers have one of the most difficult jobs in the world.
Let's talk some numbers. Domestic abuse claims the lives of 2 women a week. There are an estimated 6.5 million adults who have suffered domestic abuse. And police in England recorded 421,000 domestic abuse crimes last year.
Children’s homes play such an important part in some children’s lives. So I want to talk to you today about the fact that there are many homes that are doing a fantastic job for children. Earlier this year, Ofsted visited a children’s home in the North West. Four children who have emotional and behavioural problems live there.
Most of us who work in children’s services recognise that there have to be national standards for children in care.
It’s been said that that achieving an outstanding rating at a first inspection is impossible. In fact, in 2013/14 Ofsted judged six per cent of children's homes to be outstanding at their first inspection. That proportion rose to 12 per cent in 2015/16.
Good leaders are simultaneously culture creators and great managers. They know what systemic good practice looks like, both in principle and in people’s day to day work. They can combine their knowledge of how the system works, and could improve, with strong skills in making every day’s work the best that can be achieved.
This is a really interesting time for me and my colleagues at Ofsted as we shape how we think Ofsted inspections can add the most value in vulnerable children’s lives from January 2018 (the new inspection framework will be published this autumn).