Transforming services through COVID
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
Patrick Melia explains Sunderland City Council’s drive and determination in taking its children’s services from inadequate to outstanding.
Voyage for improvement
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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’
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
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
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.