Bradford Council responds to Ofsted report

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Ofsted has published a report into Bradford Council’s children's services.

The full report can be read on the Ofsted website.

We wanted to make sure that you were aware of the report and of our response to it. Below are the statements we will be issuing to the media.

Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council, said: “There has been a huge commitment and investment in implementing the improvement in children’s social care and Ofsted acknowledges that there have been some small recent improvements under the leadership of the newly appointed Director of Children’s Services. We know however that much more is needed. This is why the Council, along with the Government’s Children’s Commissioner and the Department for Education, took the decision to establish a Trust to manage children’s social care services.

“The Bradford Children and Families Trust will provide a strong basis for our dedicated team of staff to continue to improve services for children and families across the district. It will provide clear direction and the opportunity to draw on resources and expertise nationally so that we can make improvements for children and young people sooner.”

Marium Haque, Director of Children’s Services for Bradford Council, said: “We know that children and families deserve better. We have been very open with Ofsted about the challenges that our children’s social care services face both in terms of the improvements we have made and the areas we continue to work on. We recognise what this report says about the pace of improvement and we have already taken steps to bring about changes.

“The recruitment of social workers is a high priority for us. Our social work academy has been set up to support the recruitment and training of newly-qualified and experienced social workers. In addition, we are working in partnership with Bradford University to deliver a Master’s degree in social work.

“We have worked closely with the Department for Education and with the Government’s Commissioner to accelerate improvement.  We have revised our improvement plan and are delivering on it under the oversight of the refreshed Improvement Board. We will continue to build on this work so we can make the improvements required.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “We know that the pace of improvement in children’s social care services has been too slow since 2018 and fully accept Ofsted’s findings. Everyone is focussed on trying to speed up the pace of change.  This is why we have been working closely with the Government’s own Commissioner and why we are setting up an independent Trust to manage children’s social care services from 1 April. This will provide a fresh start for the team who have at their core the firm desire to make positive changes for young people.

“It is our priority that children get the best services. The Council has invested substantially in children’s services in an effort to speed up the pace of improvement. The Council will continue to work with partners, and with the new Trust to make sure that the investment committed is used to achieve the best outcomes for children.”

Councillor Sue Duffy, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families, said: “We accept the findings of this Ofsted report. We know that improvement has not been fast enough and that this isn’t good enough for our district’s children. We understand that and will keep working hard to embed and sustain improvements.

“We believe that moving to a Trust will be a step change in accelerating the improvement that we urgently need to see. Our district’s children and families deserve the best we can offer, and our shared ambition with the Trust is to deliver that. The report acknowledges how committed our social workers are to Bradford and that they recognise that things are calmer and clearer under the new leadership of Director of Children’s Services, Marium Haque. We really appreciate the job they do for our district’s children.”

 


Information

Published: 31/01/2023
Audience: all
Contact: Rebecca Smith

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