Yorkshire council criticises Ofsted rating based on ‘short inspection visit’

By William Eichler | 16 March 2020

A local authority in Yorkshire has said it is ‘disappointed’ by an Ofsted rating of its children’s social care services.

The inspectors said that since the last inspection in 2016 when East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s services were rated good there had been a ‘marked deterioration’ in the quality of help and protection support for children in East Riding, with the council now graded inadequate overall.

Services for children in care and care leavers have remained strong overall, with good strategic and operational management oversight, according to Ofsted’s report.

However, this was not replicated in services for children in need of help and protection, where management oversight and practice was significantly weaker.

The report also said that senior leaders and councillors did not have a ‘wholly accurate’ understanding of these shortfalls.

Responding to Ofsted’s report, a council spokesman suggested the report was based on limited evidence.

He said: ‘Ofsted has published a report about the council’s children’s social care services based on a short inspection visit in December 2019 which involved a snapshot of a relatively few sample cases.

‘The judgement is very disappointing for the council and does not reflect the range of effective, successful work carried out by our highly-professional, committed and caring staff across all the services and across the East Riding.'

However, the council did acknowledge that there are ‘areas of improvement’.

The spokesman continued: ‘Like with any other local authority facing unprecedented demand and severe financial constraints, our staff work in often very difficult and challenging circumstances.

‘However, we are dedicated in our aspiration to provide the best possible service and outcomes through continual learning and development.

'This includes improving where necessary and constantly reviewing our working practices and effectiveness.’

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