County council among nation’s best for children’s social care

Only a quarter of councils – including Oxfordshire – have passed Ofsted’s new harder inspection test for children’s social services, according to the watchdog’s annual report. The remaining three-quarters were found to be ‘inadequate’ or ‘requiring improvement’.

The report ranks Oxfordshire among the best performing of 87 councils so far put to the test, with 64 of these failing to secure a ‘good’ rating.

Oxfordshire is also one of just three areas where Ofsted and its partner inspectorates have completed the new Joint Target Area Inspection, which highly praised the council’s work to tackle child sexual exploitation alongside its partner agencies.

Rising to the challenge

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “There’s no doubt we are seeing a more challenging inspection framework and councils across the country are having to respond to that challenge in order to demonstrate they are providing good services for children and families.

"There are clearly some concerns at a national level that relatively few councils are achieving a ‘good’ rating. In Oxfordshire we are obviously pleased to be among those, while being absolutely clear that further improvements are needed and that there can never be room for complacency.

“It is of course right that these inspections are tough, as nothing could be more important than keeping vulnerable children safe so that both the families we work with and the wider community can have confidence in our services. The onus, as always, is on councils and other partners to rise to the challenges of the day, and to be relentless in our pursuit of the highest possible standards.”