Lambeth: Children’s services inspection finds council on path to improvement

16 December 2022

Written by: Lara Iannelli

Council statements and updates

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) has today published its assessment of Children’s Services at Lambeth Council, finding the council is on the path to improvement. Lambeth Council has welcomed the assessment and is committed to continuing the progress noted by inspectors.

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Lambeth: Children’s services inspection finds council on path to improvement

The report, which found the council’s Children’s Services ‘requires improvement to be good’ follows an inspection which took place from October 24 to November 4, this year. The report notes that the council has the senior leadership in place needed to provide stability, and that there are credible plans in place to address weaknesses.

However the report also notes seven areas for improvement, including swifter court action in relation to care proceedings and better planning for transitions for disabled children. The Ofsted judgement contained in the report is the same as the previous inspection which took place in May 2018.

Cllr Ben Kind, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Despite the judgement remaining the same the report is positive about all the work everyone in Children’s Services has put into improving the service since the last inspection.

“These efforts have included an active recruitment drive, making sure we have a more stable workforce, a focus on our Social Work practice and training, lowering caseloads and giving staff better career development opportunities.”

Cllr Claire Holland, the Leader of the Council said: “We are pleased that the report highlighted the strengths of our Children’s Social Care department including the skilled and creative direct work practitioners undertake with children, the effectiveness of much of our partnership work and the stability and progress that many of our children in care are achieving.

“The areas for improvement are clear and will be a point of focus for the service and our partners as we continue to improve.”

The final report found that:

“Lambeth has experienced a number of recent changes in leadership. Despite this, senior managers have provided stability. They have credible plans in place to address weaknesses and to further develop services, with significant investment secured by committed political leaders.

“The changes that have been made are beginning to show signs of impact, although most are very recent and services for many children are not yet good enough. Lambeth faces considerable challenges in the recruitment and retention of staff. Nonetheless, leaders have ensured that workers’ caseloads are manageable, although some children experience too many changes of worker.

“Staff value the support they receive from their managers and leaders. They work with passion and enthusiasm to improve children’s lives.”

To read the full report visit reports.ofsted.gov.uk.