The government has congratulated Wakefield Council for the ‘outstanding’ leadership which has transformed its Children’s Services following Ofsted’s latest inspection.
Believed to be one of the fastest improvements of council-maintained Children’s Services in the country, Wakefield has taken itself from inadequate across the board in 2018 to soundly good in every area, with outstanding leadership.
In a letter, the government’s Minister for Children and Families, Will Quince praised the “considerable achievement over what has been a very challenging eighteen months” and said it was “testament to the strong practice from social workers”.
He also said he was “impressed to see comments about strong leadership, which has resulted in high-quality practice, workforce stability, improved partnership working and ultimately led to the ‘Outstanding’ sub-judgement for leadership”.
In recognition of the continuous improvement to Children’s Services in Wakefield, Mr Quince has formally revoked the statutory direction placed on the authority in 2018, ending the intervention from 13 January 2021.
This means that the council will no longer receive quarterly monitoring visits and the Improvement Board, which was attended by the Department for Education, will cease and the service will no longer be overseen by an independent chair.
Commenting, Leader of Wakefield Council, Councillor Denise Jeffery said:
“We are pleased to receive this letter from government, which is full of praise for our dedicated staff and leadership and acknowledges their hard work in transforming our Children’s Services.
“We will not be complacent and are continuing working with our partners to sustain and even further improve the delivery of services to ensure that children’s voices are always heard and that all children are given the support they need to fulfil their potential.
“By formally removing the need for oversight, the government has clearly recognised and confirmed our ability to do this.
“We have a number of additional plans in place which we believe will take us closer to achieving outstanding practice in key areas in future months. The future certainly looks very bright.”