Buckinghamshire’s Children’s Services show ‘Clear signs of progress’ say the Department for Education
According to Edward Timpson, the Department for Education’s Minister of State for Children and Families, clear signs of progress are being shown as Buckinghamshire County Council makes significant improvements to its children’s social care services and the overarching commitment to providing an improved service.
A letter from the Minister’s has confirmed that the Department for Education will not increase the current level of intervention provided to the Council. A further review is planned in early Summer 2016.
The letter follows a visit by staff from the Department in November to review improvement progress in Children’s Social Care since the Ofsted inspection in 2014. The follow up auditing of casework was also undertaken in January 2016 by DfE appointed advisors.
Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: ‘The Minister’s decision shows that we are improving and are moving in the right direction. This is good news and demonstrates the continued commitment to the children of Buckinghamshire by our social care staff and our partners, who show unwavering resolve to drive through improvements.
I and my colleagues in Cabinet are determined to continue to support the drive to improve services for children in Buckinghamshire.‘
David Johnston, Managing Director for Children’s Social Care and Learning, said: ‘We are pleased that the Department for Education has recognised the significant improvements we have made. It’s important to note that all of the areas the Minister has identified for further improvement are already being addressed and are included in our refreshed Improvement Plan.
We are all committed to achieving the best outcomes for children and their families, and they are at the heart of everything we do.‘
Superintendent Olly Wright, Aylesbury Vale Local Police Area Commander, said: ‘Thames Valley Police continues to work very closely with Buckinghamshire County Council and the range of other partners involved in keeping children safe in Buckinghamshire.
We remain committed to working as a key member of the partnership, alongside social care, schools, the NHS and others because there is nothing more important than the protection of children and other vulnerable people from those who would cause them harm.‘
Lou Patten, Chief Officer of NHS Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group, said: ‘The local NHS remains entirely committed to working as part of the wider system partnership to ensure the progress in keeping children safe continues.
There has been a huge amount of work undertaken by the County Council and all partners; I am pleased to see this has been recognised by the Department for Education.
We are all committed to continuing this work to make sure children and families in need in Buckinghamshire always receive the best possible support and outcomes.‘
The Improvement Board which was put in place following the Ofsted inspection in 2014 will continue to work with the Council to drive continued improvement in children’s safeguarding.
The letter from the Department for Education’s and the refreshed Improvement Plan can be viewed at www.buckscc.gov.uk/improving.