• Transforming services through COVID

    29 September 2021

    Keeping children’s services going through a pandemic was hard enough, but St Helens MBC has embarked on its own journey of transformation, as Jim Leivers explains.

  • Making the leap

    14 September 2021

    Patrick Melia explains Sunderland City Council’s drive and determination in taking its children’s services from inadequate to outstanding.

  • Voyage for improvement

    14 September 2021

    Blackpool Council’s new model of practice is shifting service culture away from a focus on process to one that works with families to achieve optimum impact and outcomes for their children, writes Victoria Gent.

  • SEND children being left behind by council

    31 August 2021

    Children with special educational needs are being left behind by council services across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, inspectors have found. 

  • Durham told to end unregistered placements

    31 August 2021

    Durham Council must take decisive action to end unregistered placements for children in care, Ofsted has warned. 

  • Revered and reviled - the lot of a regulator

    13 July 2021

    Local government's reluctance to embrace regulation is understandable, but it fails to see the side of the service user, says Abdool Kara

  • Telling the whole place story

    13 July 2021

    A Fabian pamphlet calls on Labour to commit to a new Place Audit Office (PAO) within the National Audit Office. John Tizard and David Walker explain

  • Ofsted chief rubbishes ‘inspection tsunami’ claim

    09 July 2021

    Amanda Spielman has sought to ease concerns about a deluge of inspections as the watchdog resumes normal activity in September.

  • Councils must lead the way in raising standards across social housing

    29 June 2021

    The Social Housing White Paper should be welcomed as a chance to renew council housing’s purpose of providing people with the highest possible standard of living, say Jamie Carswell and Joanne Drew.

  • Councillors to bring supported housing closer to home

    28 June 2021

    Senior Haringey LBC councillors have moved to develop supported housing for young people with complex learning disabilities and autism within their own borough.

  • Keeping children in sight

    16 June 2021

    Last week allegations of ill-treatment at a children’s home in Cardiff were in the spotlight. Dan Peters talks to sector experts about whether the system of inspection is failing.

  • Boarding home closures prompt council response

    30 March 2021

    Councils have been called on to help accommodate children with special educational needs after two boarding homes had their registrations suspended following critical inspections.

  • Liverpool to undergo best value inspection

    17 December 2020

    Liverpool City Council will undergo an inspection of whether it is complying with its best value duty after the arrest of its mayor.

  • Redesign services for a COVID era, says CQC chief

    06 November 2020

    The chief executive of the Care Quality Commission has called for services to be redesigned for a ‘COVID era’ that could last for many years.

  • Sorry is the hardest word

    03 November 2020

    For the sake of the organisation sometimes you just have to swallow your pride, accept the criticism, and say and do what is expected, according to Blair McPherson.

  • Two firms must improve their audits, says FRC

    02 November 2020

    Two firms have been told their audit work requires ‘significant improvement’, a review of local audit by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has concluded.

  • Ofsted to visit councils and children’s social care providers

    17 August 2020

    Ofsted will resume its visits to local authorities and children's social care providers from September, but these will result in a set of findings rather than a graded judgement.

  • Restored visits by Ofsted are ‘not about judging’

    17 August 2020

    Rather than creating something new, Ofsted’s visits from September to schools and social care and early years providers represent an adjustment to get the assurance needed about the decisions being made for children, says Yvette Stanley.

  • Council launches judicial review over local plan

    17 April 2020

    Sevenoaks DC has begun judicial review proceedings after the Government’s planning inspector refused to endorse its new local plan.

  • The sector has continued to benefit from Best Value

    01 April 2020

    Before COVID-19, Brexit, austerity and the recession came Best Value inspection - and the more objective chiefs now speak fondly of those days, and the net benefit of the regime, says Abdool Kara.