Islington Council’s children’s social care services achieve ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating for first time

Islington Town Hall.Picture:Ken Mears

Islington Town Hall.Picture:Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Islington Council’s children’s social care services have been rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted – the highest grade on a scale of four.

Cllrs Kaya Comer-Schwartz outside Islington town hall. Picture: Polly Hancock

Cllrs Kaya Comer-Schwartz outside Islington town hall. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

The report, published on Wednesday and undertaken in early March, also praised the council’s “unwavering commitment to improving and enriching the lives of children and their families”.

The reported notes that “sustained investment in early help and universal services” means that families “can access high-quality help when needs first arise”.

Following its previous inspection, Ofsted rates the same service as “Good” in 2017.

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, said: “This is a significant achievement and testament to the hard work and determination of staff at every level and wider safeguarding partners.

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“Senior leaders and those on the frontline in Islington clearly demonstrate an unwavering commitment to improving and enriching the lives of children and their families.”

Islington’s education chief Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz said: “I am over the moon about the outcome of the inspection. Keeping children and young people safe and getting families the help they need quickly, so they can flourish, is what motivates all of us involved with children’s services in Islington and this shone through the inspection.

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“Islington’s administration has protected funding for children’s services despite years of Government cuts and remains committed to funding children’s social care so that this vital work can continue.”

The Ofsted rating shows just how much this service has improved since the historic child abuse scandal which saw, potentially thousands of, young people physically and sexually abused by paedophiles in borough-run care homes between the 1970s and 1990s.

In 2017 council leader Richard Watts apologies for the horrific failings of past administrations, and the town hall is working on a redress scheme with Islington Survivors Network.

Cllr Watts today said: “I am absolutely delighted with the recognition that Islington’s children’s services have received the highest ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted for the first time ever. Nothing is more important than the care we show to the most vulnerable children and families. [...] We shouldn’t forget that in the past Islington failed children in its care. As both exec member and leader of the council I’ve been determined to ensure today’s young people get the best possible deal and I’m delighted at the recognition that the [Islington Council] team received today.”

The full report can be read here.

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