In November 2016 Ofsted inspectors carried out a four week inspection of services provided by Sutton Council to children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers. It has been announced today (Monday 13 February) that the provision of children’s services has been rated as ‘Good.’ The full report can be found by clicking here.
Ofsted also inspected the Sutton Safeguarding Children Board and judged it to be ‘Good.’ The report noted that the Board has ‘a culture of openness, honesty and robust challenge, relentlessly driving significant safeguarding improvements across the partnership.’
Summarising the progress Sutton Council has made in the two years since its last inspection, Ofsted reported ‘leaders and managers have worked relentlessly since previous inspections’ and ‘partnership working is good at both strategic and operational levels in Sutton.’ The report also states that ‘social workers, police officers, teachers, health workers and many others know what is needed to make children safe in Sutton, and they act quickly together to achieve this.’
Adoption services were also found to be ‘Good’ and noted to be ‘a priority and strength in Sutton.’
Services for children who need help and protection were rated as ‘Good’ and inspectors reported that this makes a ‘significant difference’ to children and young people.
The report highlighted that care leavers ‘receive good support from staff, especially in relation to their education’ and that ‘they have a trusting and positive relationship with their personal advisers and social workers’.
Ofsted summarised, ‘Children’s Services in Sutton are good. The senior leadership team and elected members are committed and ambitious, and have a clear vision for service improvement.’
Commenting on the future outlook for children’s social care in Sutton, Ofsted reported ‘clear expectations and a determination to do the right thing are making children in Sutton safer.’
Inspectors went on to highlight:
- ‘Social workers see children regularly and work hard to ensure that they hear and act on children’s views.’
- ‘Foster carers demonstrate real warmth towards the children in their care and take pride in their achievements.’
- ‘Achieving permanent homes for children who need adoption is a priority and a strength in Sutton.’
- ‘Elected members are well informed and have high aspirations for all children in Sutton.’
- ‘Children and young people are helped to contribute to their plans and reviews, and their views are listened to to help make services better. ’
In relation to Sutton’s Children Safeguarding Board, Ofsted highlighted the following:
- Effective challenge to partners that leads to positive outcomes.
- Action plans that ‘swiftly lead to improvements’ of safeguarding practice.
- Interventions by the board leading to ‘stronger recent multi-agency practice.’
Sutton Council’s children’s services embarked on a journey of improvement starting in May 2012.
Councillor Wendy Mathys, Lead Member for Children’s Services in Sutton, said:
“I am pleased that the relentless improvements in the service since 2012 have been recognised. We have been determined to improve the services we provide to the most vulnerable children and families in our communities. We are grateful to our front line social work staff, their managers, our foster carers and other partners for their hard work and commitment.’’
Christine Davies, CBE, Chair of Sutton’s Safeguarding Children Board, said:
“I am delighted that the strength of partnership working across Sutton has made a significant difference to keeping children and young people safe. I would like to thank all partners, which includes health, police, voluntary and council services for their considerable hard work, energy and commitment to improving the lives and safety of children in Sutton.”