Intervention Level In Authorities Rated Inadequate by Ofsted

Inadequate LAs receive quarterly monitoring visits from Ofsted which are explained   here   . The Ofsted framework was updated on September 14th.  More

This blog post analyses what is currently happening with  LAs rated inadequate by Ofsted.

intervention

Demos calls this “externalisation rather than outsourcing.” 

This is the hierarchy of possible intervention, the right hand side of the flow chart deals with “improvement” while the left hand side is about “direction.”  

DIRECTION

This is the more radical option.

The first query is “sufficient evidence of persistent or systemic failure.” If the answer is “YES”, then the Government issues a statutory direction and appoints a Commissioner to assess whether services should remain with the council. 

See  this link from Lord Nash, July 2017 explaining which LAs have systemic failure and which have persistent.

IF the Commissioner’s verdict is that the authority is NOT capable of improvement, the next question is whether the local authority is co-operative or is resistant. If the council is co-operative, the Trust will be a partnership; if resistant, a Trust arrangement will be imposed on the council within the year.  (Sandwell for example will be an imposed Trust

(IF on the other hand the Commissioner rules that the authority DOES  have capacity to improve, then the LA will move onto the right hand side IMPROVEMENT track.)

IMPROVEMENT NOTICE 

In the first instance, IF there is not “sufficient evidence of persistent or systemic failure” then the right hand side of the flow chart applies. (A local authority may also be moved onto the IMPROVEMENT track if it is assessed as being capable of improvement after persistent failure.)

There will be a Government-appointed Improvement Advisor (who may be an individual or a company) who will work with the council. Although this is not spelled out in the NAO flowchart, there is generally an Improvement Board which may be instructed to appoint an Independent Chair. 

A diagnostic review will be carried out within 3 months and within 6 months there will be a report to the Government. IF sufficient progress has been made, then progress must be maintained and will be assessed at a subsequent Ofsted inspection (which is not the same as  a quarterly monitoring visit) The outcome at the re-inspection stage will depend on whether the council is rated good, requires improvement or inadequate.

IF on the other hand, sufficient progress has NOT been made within 6 months, then as per the December 2015 statement, the council will be moved to the left hand side of the flowchart which deals with statutory DIRECTIONS. 

I will now try to assess where each LA fits in the above flowchart, based on information already in the public domain.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES RATED INADEQUATE 

NORTH WEST 

  • Cumbria  DIRECTION moved out of inadequate January 2018 
  • Knowsley  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE  AS OF JUNE 13TH 2017 MOVED FROM INADEQUATE TO REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT
  • Lancashire  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE AS OF AUGUST 2018 MOVED FROM INADEQUATE TO REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT
  • Manchester  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE (making progress) 
  • Tameside  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE
  • Wirral DIRECTION (Improvement Plan) 

WEST MIDLANDS

  • Birmingham DIRECTION TRANSFER TO TRUST  
  • Coventry IMPROVEMENT NOTICE AS OF JUNE 13TH 2017, MOVED FROM INADEQUATE TO REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT 
  • Dudley  DIRECTION 
  • Sandwell DIRECTION TRANSFER TO TRUST (imposed) 
  • Worcestershire DIRECTION

NORTH

  • Darlington IMPROVEMENT NOTICE (making progress) OUT OF INADEQUATE MAY 2018 
  • Doncaster DIRECTION TRUST (making progress)  rated GOOD JANUARY 2018
  • Kirklees  DIRECTIONLEEDS COUNCIL WILL RUN THEIR CHILDREN’S SERVICES 
  • Rotherham DIRECTION COMMISSIONERS RUNNING SERVICES  LINCOLNSHIRE IS PRACTICE IMPROVEMENT PARTNER, some improvement  OUT OF INADEQUATE JANUARY 2018 
  • Sunderland  DIRECTION TRANSFERRED TO CHILDREN’S SERVICES COMPANY,  APRIL 2017 
  • Wakefield (inspected under ILACS 2018) DIRECTION 

EAST 

  • Leicester City  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE (making progress) OUT OF INADEQUATE 
  • Norfolk  DIRECTION  OUT OF INADEQUATE TO REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT, JANUARY 2018 

LONDON 

  • Barnet  DIRECTION LA MUST COOPERATE WITH ESSEX 
  • Bromley  DIRECTION 
  • Croydon  DIRECTION LA MUST WORK WITH CAMDEN 
  • Lambeth IMPROVEMENT NOTICE (making progress) OUT OF INADEQUATE MAY 2018
  • Tower Hamlets  DIRECTION 
  • Wandsworth IMPROVEMENT NOTICE  MOVED OUT OF INADEQUATE JULY 2018 

SOUTH 

  • Buckinghamshire  DIRECTION 
  • Gloucestershire IMPROVEMENT NOTICE
  • Reading  DIRECTION, will transfer children’s services to company  
  • Slough SERVICES TRANSFERRED TO TRUST 
  • Somerset DIRECTION  out of inadequate January 2018 
  • South Gloucestershire IMPROVEMENT NOTICE
  • Surrey  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE
  • Torbay DIRECTION. HAMPSHIRE IS PRACTICE IMPROVEMENT PARTNER
  • West Berkshire IMPROVEMENT NOTICE MOVED OUT OF INADEQUATE 

 

 

BARNET

BIRMINGHAM 

SEND OFSTED WRITTEN STATEMENT OF ACTION REQUIRED SEPTEMBER 2018

BROMLEY 

 

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

COVENTRY
Coventry First declared inadequate in June 2014.
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice June 2014 council must set up Improvement Board)
members of Improvement Board  (Initially Independent Chair IB was Mark Rogers, Birmingham, now Independent Chair IB is Steve Hart, consultant formerly Ofsted inspector)
Improvement Board Briefing July 2016     council feels it is making progress     
Ofsted December 2016, making some progress, more to be done  
Ofsted June 2017 AS OF JUNE 13TH 2017, MOVED FROM INADEQUATE TO REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT         
“Getting To Good”    September 2017
WEST MIDLANDS   IMPROVEMENT NOTICE  

CROYDON 

CUMBRIA
Cumbria  First declared inadequate in April 2012 and again in 2013 and  May 2015.
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice  November 2015 set up Improvement Board with Claire Burgess as Independent Chair
Local Government Association to carry out diagnostic assessment services for Looked After Children by December 2015   (LGA Advisor Tony Crane, also in Leicester and Lancashire)
Improvement Update May 2016
Ofsted July 2016 (monitoring visit “making expected progress” in line with improvement plan)
Ofsted November 2016 monitoring visit,  “inspectors identified areas of strength, areas where improvement is occurring, and some areas where progress has not yet met the expectations in the local authority’s action plan” 
Ofsted February 2017  practice is still too variable
Ofsted June 2017    making expected progress in some areas of practice
Ofsted September 2017   now improving in areas previously identified as in need of more attention
Ofsted January 2018, moved out of inadequate now REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT 
NORTH WEST. DIRECTION  (making progress) 
DARLINGTON 
Darlington First declared inadequate  in September 2015 (found “adequate” in 2012)
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice October 2015, work with  Red Quadrant as Government-appointed advisor                                                                   
Set up Improvement Board, Clive Harrison from Red Quadrant acting as Independent Chair 
Ofsted August 2016 praise for leadership but issues with social work capacity and quality of assessments
Ofsted November 2016  making steady progress in relation to August recommendations but deterioration in some further practice areas.
Ofsted March 2017   beginning to make some progress
Ofsted July 2017  steady progress maintained for children in need of help and protection, NOT been sustained for children looked after, recently appointed chair of the scrutiny committee has injected fresh energy into the role and committee members of the committee have had extensive mandatory training
Ofsted October 2017  improved workforce stability More
Ofsted May 2018 full reinspection moved out of inadequate to requires improvement 
NORTH WEST  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE  (making progress) 
DONCASTER 
Doncaster  First declared inadequate in 2008
Children’s services taken out of council control   in 2013  following Le Grand Review
Independent Trust rated inadequate November 2015
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice  (June 2016, services for disabled children to be run by Trust)
Ofsted September 2016 (“The local authority and the trust are making significant progress from a low baseline”)
Ofsted November 2016  LA and the trust  continuing to make progress
Ofsted March 2017 progress evident in all areas where need for improvement was identified More
Ofsted August 2017 clear and continuing progress in improving service
Ofsted January 2018  now rated GOOD 
NORTH. DIRECTION. TRUST (making progress) 

DUDLEY

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

OFSTED SEND INSPECTION REPORT GLOUCESTERSHIRE   JULY 2016

KIRKLEES

  • Ofsted declared Kirklees inadequate November 25th 2016,
  • DfE Direction Letter November 2016, appointment Eleanor Brazil as Commissioner  (also in Slough and Dudley, previously in Sandwell)   to assess whether control of children’s social care should be removed from Council 
  • Kirklees to spend £450K on temporary social workers, November 2016 (Cabinet Briefing Paper November 2016)
  • Kirklees Director Children’s Services resigns + staff announce strike January 2017
  • New DC Gill Ellis (previously Kirklees Learning and Skills, Nottingham City, Sheffield)
  • Kirklees Cabinet debates Improvement Plan and children’s services funding, March 2017
  • Merlin Joseph appointed Improvement Director April 2017   (previously Hillingdon, Bromley, Dudley)
  • Ofsted next monitoring visit due 27/28 June 2017
  • Reports that children’s services could be “taken over” by Leeds, June 2017
  • Strike action + more on Leeds takeover July 2017
  • Gill Ellis DC retires, replaced by Steve Walker also DC Leeds + additional members workforce Leeds July 2017     More
  • Ofsted July 2017 pace of change hindered by workforce instability and high social work caseloads  More
  • DfE seeking commissioner, July 2017 average 4 days per month for 12 months, costs up to £48,960. Tender document 
  • Systemic failure, DfE July 2017
  • Commissioners Report completed March 2017, published September 2017, LA unable to make required improvements, must look at alternatives, Leeds to provide assistance in short term, willing to look at longer-term formal partnership, being President of ADCS during time of decline meant then Director of Children’s Services was away from Kirklees too much  More
  • Ofsted December 2017   pace of change too slow, widespread and serious failures, deterioration in management of risk to vulnerable children and quality of decision-making and assessment
  • Ofsted April 2018  small amount of progress in strengthening foundations for service improvement
  • Revised statutory direction January 2018  LA must have partnership agreement with Leeds council for the latter to deliver all Kirklees children’s social care functions, Director of Children’s Services Leeds is also to be Director for Kirklees,  DfE to undertake performance reviews every 6 months
  • Ofsted August 2018     pace of improvement increased,  more to be done
  • NORTH DIRECTION 
KNOWSLEY
Knowsley First declared inadequate in June 2014
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice (October 2014 set up Improvement Board with Independent Chair Malcolm Newsam who is also Commissioner in Sandwell and previously was IC in Rotherham)
Ofsted September 2016 (“progress has been made towards achieving the priority actions in the area of help and protection”)
Summary from council September 2016
Ofsted December 2016   making improvements and monitoring what still needs to be done
Ofsted June 2017  AS OF JUNE 13TH 2017, MOVED FROM INADEQUATE TO REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT
NORTH WEST  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE (making progress) 
LAMBETH
Lambeth  First declared inadequate in May 2015
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice (December 2015, work with Government-appointed advisor Morning Lane Associates consultancy jointly set up  by Isabelle Trowler, now Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, and Steve Goodman both formerly in Hackney, see National Audit Office inquiry into potential conflict of interest, October 2016)
Ofsted August 2016 (some progress but must improve more quickly)
Ofsted December 2016 pace of change improved since the last visit, progress from very low base, SW turnover still too high
Ofsted June 2017   continuing to make progress from a low base
Ofsted September 2017   lack of professional curiosity   More
Ofsted December 2017 final monitoring visit prior to planned re-inspection in 2018, continued improvement work remains to be done
Ofsted May 2018   full reinspection moved out of inadequate, now requires improvement, more    
LONDON  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE 
LANCASHIRE 
OFSTED SEND INSPECTION 2018   WRITTEN STATEMENT OF ACTION REQUIRED, AREAS SIGNIFICANT WEAKNESS
Lancashire First declared inadequate November 2015
 DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice (May 2016, continue to work with Improvement Board  with Independent Chair  Tony Crane also chairing IB in Leicester  and LGA Advisor Cumbria)
Ofsted October 2016  (some progress, pace of improvement has increased, much still to be done)
Ofsted February 2017, improvements in some areas
Ofsted June 2017  making uneven progress
Council restructuring proposals August 2017 (Cabinet vote in September)
Ofsted August 2017   making some progress, still too many problems with the service for Looked After Children especially where young person has special educational needs or disabilities
12 week Improvement Plan August 2017
http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/council/performance-inspections-reviews/children-education-and-families/childrens-services-improvement-board.aspx
Ofsted November 2017   continues to make some progress
Report to Scrutiny March 2018 last monitoring visit, now due full re-inspection (4 weeks, under SIF) “any time from Easter”.
Ofsted March 2018  continues to make some progress in the improvement of its services for children in need of help and protection
Ofsted August 2018   More  MOVED OUT OF INADEQUATE TO “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT” 
NORTH WEST  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE
LEICESTER CITY 
Leicester City First declared inadequate in March 2015
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice (December 2015)  Improvement Board Independent Chair  Tony Crane (also chairing IB in Lancashire  and LGA Advisor Cumbria) 
Ofsted August 2016
Ofsted October 2016  (“progress in most of these areas and significant progress in some”)
Ofsted February 2017  some improvements, some areas yet to be improved
Ofsted June 2017    steady progress in improving the quality of pre-proceedings and court work.
Ofsted September 2017 moved to REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT
DfE Improvement Notice lifted November 2017 
EAST MIDLANDS  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE
MANCHESTER 
Manchester  First declared inadequate in September 2014
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice (March 2015, Government MAY appoint advisor, Council must set up Improvement Board including Independent Chair Edwina Grant (also with the Local Government Association and Chair of Solihull Local Safeguarding Children Board)
Investment ahead of Ofsted, July 2016 (“From a financial perspective the Prime Minister’s announcement in December 2015 indicates potentially significant financial implications for local authorities that fail their Ofsted multiple times”)
Ofsted October 2016 (made some progress)
Ofsted January 2017   made some progress More
Ofsted June 2017   areas of strength, areas where improvement is occurring, and areas that require more focus and development (* visit was in MARCH but publication of letter delayed by general election)
Ofsted July 2017  progress still mixed (* visit was in June)
Ofsted December 2017 out of inadequate, moved to requires improvement More
NORTH WEST   IMPROVEMENT NOTICE
NORFOLK 
Norfolk First declared inadequate in 2013
Government-appointed Improvement Advisor Mark Gurrey  February 2015 (More)
Government appointed Commissioner Dave Hill  November 2015 (current Director Children’s Services at Essex Council and President Association Directors Children’s Services )
 Dave Hill Report March 2016
Norfolk to work with Barnardos, July 2016 
 Ofsted July 2016   (pace of improvement must increase)
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice (August 2016, must work with advisor and develop an Improvement Plan, no timescale specified)
Ofsted November 2016  progress still slow, difficulties with recruitment, poorly developed strategic planning and performance management. Director Children’s Services resigns, November 2016, Interim DC Andrew Bunyan 
New interim Director Children’s Services Matt Dunkley January 2017 
Ofsted March 2017  LA has taken recent decisive action to speed up pace of improvement
Partnership with Barnados announced June 2017, more
Ofsted July 2017  making steady progress
DfE July 2017, persistent failure
£12m investment, September 2017
Ofsted January 2018  MOVES OUT OF INADEQUATE TO REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT  More 
EAST. DIRECTION 

READING 

ROTHERHAM 

Rotherham First declared inadequate in December 2009
4 Government appointed Commissioners to run council services, February 2015    
Lead Commissioner Report January 2016   (Sir Derek Myers Lead Commissioner, formerly Kensington and Chelsea/Hammersmith and Fulham)  council has made some good progress)
 DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice (February 2016 confirms return of certain functions to the council)
New Commissioner May 2016 (Patricia Bradwell, current deputy Leader Lincolnshire Council replaces Malcolm Newsam (MN still IB Independent Chair in Knowsley and also now Commissioner in Sandwell)
Ofsted monitoring letter, November 2016 clear evidence of improvement in some key areas but the quality of some social work practice remains poor. Arrangements for looked after children are delayed. Procedures not always followed when child protection concerns arise. Link
Ofsted monitoring letter March 2017  making continuous progress, positive organisational culture    More
Ofsted monitoring letter June 2017  areas of strength, areas where improvement is occurring and some areas where the progress has not met expectations
NORTH. DIRECTION. COMMISSIONERS RUNNING COUNCIL SERVICES, LINCOLNSHIRE IS PRACTICE IMPROVEMENT PARTNER  
Ofsted January 2018   NO LONGER INADEQUATE, SERVICES RATED GOOD. More 
Ian Thomas to move to Lewisham, February 2018

SANDWELL 

 

SLOUGH

SOMERSET 
Somerset First declared inadequate in August 2013
6 Directors of Children’s Services in as many years
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice November 2015  Dave Hill is Government-appointed Improvement Advisor (also Essex  Council and Commissioner in Norfolk)
Update May 2016  including link to Cabinet Briefing April 2016.
Council now implementing three-year Children’s and Young People’s Plan
NB Somerset Children’s Trust is a  local area partnership led by the council, ie NOT an Independent Trust.   
Ofsted December 2016    Making adequate progress    
Ofsted June 2017   pace of change needs to accelerate
Ofsted September 2017  making satisfactory progress from low starting point
Ofsted January 2018  out of inadequate now REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT 
Running out of money, May 2018  
SOUTH WEST. DIRECTION  

SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE 

 

SUNDERLAND 

 

SURREY

  • SEE ALSO OFSTED SEND INSPECTION LETTER SURREY    WRITTEN STATEMENT ACTION REQUIRED DUE TO SIGNIFICANT AREAS OF WEAKNESS SPECIAL NEEDS AND DISABILITY
  • Surrey First declared inadequate in 2008 (subsequently found “adequate” but then inadequate again in June 2015 (following inspection October/November 2014)
  • DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice  January 2016, Government appointed advisor Rose Durban.
  • Improvement Programme links here.                                                                           
  • Improvement Board  (chaired by Deputy Leader Surrey Council, ie NOT an Independent Chair)
  • Ofsted September 2016   (5th monitoring visit since deemed inadequate in 2015, beginning to make progress, from a low starting point, west of county is better than east)
  • Ofsted February 2017 continuing to make progress, more work to be done
  • Ofsted June 2017         continues to improve with notable progress in some areas 
  • Ofsted September 2017   some strengths + areas where improvement only recently accelerated +  some areas action required to address weaknesses
  • Ofsted November 2017 progress too slow, LA taking too long to address critical weaknesses   More
  • Dave Hill DC Essex to become DC Surrey, March 2018
  • Ofsted May 2018 full reinspection, still inadequate, leaders and elected members far too slow to accept and act on findings and recommendations of 2014 inspection,   more
  • 3 neighbouring councils (Hampshire, Essex and Hertfordshire) to assist Surrey + Commissioner to be appointed, May 2018    More
  • DfE Direction   June 2018 appointing Trevor Doughty as Commissioner
  • Ofsted October 2018   (via new page ) Not yet making sufficient progress  More
  • SOUTH EAST  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE

 

TAMESIDE 

 

TORBAY 

 

TOWER HAMLETS

  • Ofsted April 2017   Council failing to meet ‘basic social work standards; Tower Hamlets was placed in the hands of government-appointed commissioners in 2015, with full powers only being restored to the council in March 2017 Political changes  More   
  • DfE Direction September 2017   appointing  Lincolnshire County Council  and Islington as Intervention Advisers  (Partners in Practice) More + Alan Wood (DfE Advisor, formerly in Hackney, former president ADCS, author of Wood Review advising scrapping LSCBs) as Chair of Improvement Board. More 
  • Ofsted January 2018    some improvement but more work to be done   More
  • Ofsted May 2018  reviewing out-of-hours emergency duty team + service provided to children at risk of being radicalised, gangs, knife crime More
  • Ofsted September 2018   Some improvements but still considerable weaknesses More
  • LONDON      DIRECTION 

 

WAKEFIELD

 

WANDSWORTH 
Wandsworth First declared inadequate in February 2016
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice   August 2016, council must establish Improvement BoardIndependent Chair, Nick WhitfieldAchieving for Children Richmond and Kingston councilsappointed by the Government. Government appointed advisor (?) will work with council.
Ofsted November 2016 making positive progress from a low starting point, pace of change has accelerated but needs to be sustained
Ofsted April 2017 making steady progress
Ofsted June 2017   outcomes for children looked after gradually improving
Ofsted October 2017   progress seen in other areas not yet reflected in achieving permanence for vulnerable children
Ofsted January 2018  quality of work in most areas has started to improve very recently  More
NW to retire, May 2018 Nick Whitfield 
Ofsted May 2018   good progress in some areas, still weaknesses in others
OFSTED JULY 2018   MOVES OUT OF INADEQUATE TO “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”
LONDON  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE

 

WEST BERKSHIRE
West Berkshire  First declared inadequate in May 2015
Council  investing in social work academy  July 2015
DfE Direction Letter/Improvement Notice      August 2015, council to work with Government-appointed advisor “Exploring Choices.”                                             
Improvement Plan agreed October 2015
Local Government Association Peer Review July 2016  
Children and Family Services Improvement Blog
Ofsted to visit December 5/6 2016
Ofsted end January 2017 positive improvements, further work needed to ensure consistency
Ofsted 2 week re-inspection May 2017, judgment to be published July 7th 2017
Ofsted July 2017   improved markedly, NOW RATED GOOD.  More
SOUTH  IMPROVEMENT NOTICE

 

WIRRAL

 

WORCESTERSHIRE

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