Ofsted rates leadership of Children’s Services as ‘Outstanding’

The Council of the Isles of Scilly has received its latest report from Ofsted following a recent inspection of children’s social care on the islands. Inspectors rated the Council’s services as ‘Good’ in every category and ‘Outstanding’ for ‘the impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families’.

The comprehensive inspection took place during 14-18 October 2019 following a week of off-site analysis of selected casework, policies, processes and strategic documents. It involved interviews with all members of the Children’s Services team at the council as well as colleagues across education, health, police and the children and families we work with.

Ofsted state that “Services for children and families on the Isles of Scilly have improved since the single inspection in 2016, when they were judged to be good. Leaders have made further positive changes. Services are now stronger, with particularly noticeable improvements in early help and preventative services. These services are well embedded, reducing the need for statutory support and leading to consistently positive outcomes for children and families.” 
They go on to comment that “Partner agencies and the council place children firmly at the forefront of strategic planning and service delivery. Senior and political leaders form a highly effective, skilful and flexible core team. They use a ‘co-production’ approach, working collaboratively with families and partners to build increasingly effective local services for children.”

The Lead Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Joel Williams has commented ‘This is a testament to the hard work of the team within the Council and of our colleagues across health, education, police and the Parent Carer Forum. We are delighted that this has been recognised and will continue our unrelenting focus on the services we provide to our children and their families. This achievement is within the context of dwindling public resources and my team have managed to deliver significant budget savings while still maintaining high quality services. The Isles of Scilly faces all the same risks in terms of child protection as any other local authority area and the team have been able to respond to a variety of need with creativity, knowledge and skill. Such a positive inspection result cannot be taken for granted. I would like to thank my Director of Children’s Services, Aisling Khan and Head of Service, Lynn Plummer, particularly, for their efforts in delivering such a positive outcome’.

Mark Boden, Chief Executive of the Council comments ‘I am very proud of the work we do on the islands in children’s services. We do not use our geographical location or our small population as an excuse to deliver anything other than class leading services. There is always an opportunity to deliver an even better service, however this inspection report demonstrates the skills, energy and commitment of our children’s services team, which includes our partners, to continue to meet our increasingly complex statutory duties and to ensure that children on our islands are safe and enabled to thrive and reach their full potential’.

The full report can be viewed at the following link: https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50135438


Photo from left to right: Cllr Joel Williams, Lead Member for Children:Cllr Robert Francis, Chairman of Council:PC Lisa Woolley, Devon & Cornwall Police Constabulary: Alison Stedeford, Health Visitor/School Nurse: Tracy Smith, Isles of Scilly Parent Carer Forum Co-ordinator: Sarah Shave, Thrive Practitioner, Five Islands Academy: Lynn Plummer, Head of Service, Council of the Isles of Scilly: Aisling Khan, Director of Children’s Services; Cllr Fran Grottick, Vice Chairman

Publishing date: 
Thursday, 19 December, 2019