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Ofsted

HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Ofsted have published a report today in which it has recognised Bedford Borough Council’s “decisive action” in providing more resources to the safeguarding of children, stating that the Council is ‘doing what is required to keep children and young people safe’.

 

The report notes the Council has ‘made some important changes to senior managers’ and highlights that the ‘Council has worked hard to increase the number of social workers so that more time can be spent on cases’.

 

The Ofsted inspection was conducted over 7th - 16th January. It was a routine safeguarding assessment which had to be carried out 12 months after the unannounced inspection in January 2012. The report concludes that the Council is ‘doing what is required to keep children and young people safe’, and awards an ‘adequate’ grading overall.’

 

Ofsted found there is a strong commitment from the Mayor, Chief Executive and Elected Members to provide support to ensure the improvements to services are maintained. It was also noted that ‘the council is working well with other partners, such as health and police, to make sure children and young people who may be at risk are given the right help and support.’

 

Earlier this year, Bedford Borough’s Children’s Services announced they were acquiring a new electronic case management system for children’s social care which will enable social workers to spend more time working directly with families and will support the retention of accurate, safe information.

 

The Council’s commitment to protecting frontline services was recognised with some good examples of help for families when they are in need. Ofsted stated ‘the council has found money to make sure the 15 children centres remain in place.’

 

Mayor Dave Hodgson commented: “I am delighted that Ofsted have recognised the considerable progress which we are making. I am particularly pleased that Ofsted has recognised our commitment to the protection of frontline children’s services. We have put in place a strong management team and we will continue to work together to ensure improvement continues in the task of ensuring we are doing all we can to help keep children safe.”

 

Cllr Sue Oliver, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Social Care at Bedford Borough Council, said: “In July 2012 a new Executive Director of Children’s Services was appointed, and her dedicated team are building on the service’s previous strengths while recognising the areas that are in need of further improvement. This inspection has confirmed we are doing everything needed to keep children safe. We are determined to continue the improvement and now have our sights firmly set on achieving ‘good’ at the next inspection.”

 

Cllr David Sawyer, Portfolio Holder for Education at Bedford Borough Council, said: “Best practice is of paramount importance. Together with our partners, we will strive to ensure ongoing improvement across all aspects of Safeguarding and Looked After Children services.”

 

To view the report in full go to:

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/local-authorities/bedford

 

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