Vulnerable children have been 'let down'


Gloucestershire County Council has serious questions to answer after shocking Ofsted report

Liberal Democrats have successfully received support for a full and independent review of the recently published 'shocking' Ofsted report into Gloucestershire County Council's children's services.

The report highlighted widespread concerns over the "integrity" of the senior leadership team and a "lack of management oversight" leaving children in situations at risk. There were also "significant weaknesses" in social work practice and the existence of a "culture of bullying and blame" with members of staff working in fear.

The County Council has now had 2 inadequate Ofsted ratings in the last 6 years. An assessment published in January 2011, judged safeguarding to be inadequate with children’s services overall ‘performing poorly’.

When a local authority’s children’s services are found to be “inadequate” by Ofsted the Department for Education (DfE) takes responsibility for determining the next steps.

An Improvement Panel has been set-up, and the Liberal Democrats have ensured that membership will consist of all parties and not just the Conservative administration.

Councillor Colin Hay said:  "This was an utterly shocking report. It is deeply concerning that this Council has been given yet another ‘inadequate’ rating.

“It goes without saying that trust has been severely damaged between elected councillors, the previous Cabinet, and Officers of this Council. We’ve been lied to and now we will not allow anyone to pull the wool over our eyes again.

“There are still so many unanswered questions, but I’m hoping that now we have successfully secured a review these will finally provide much needed answers.

“The Panel has an important job to do and I’m hopeful that now we can start the long journey to improve children services at Gloucestershire County Council.” 

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