Three councils rated as inadequate by Ofsted inspections are to receive support and intervention.
A statutory direction to Kirklees Council, which was rated inadequate in November 2016, sets out that the authority will be taken over by Leeds City Council.
After Ofsted reported in December 2017 following a monitoring visit of 8 and 9 October 2017, that ‘the pace of change in Kirklees is too slow, and widespread and serious failures remain in the first response to children in need of help and protection,’ the Department for Education has decided to intervene.
The statutory direction states that Kirklees must enter into a strategic partnership with Leeds Council within three months whereby Leeds City Council will work with Kirklees to deliver all of its children’s social care services functions.
In Barnet, children’s services were rated inadequate in July 2017 and in September last year, the DfE instructed a commissioner to improve the quality of services. The commissioner’s report concluded in December that in order to provide sustainable improvements to children’s social care services the council requires external direction and intensive support.
The Secretary of State has therefore appointed Essex County Council as Barnet’s improvement advisers to provide assistance to the council.
Meanwhile Croydon has been instructed to work with Camden Council to “develop a proposal for intensive peer support over a minimum of a 12 month period” and submit the proposal to the Secretary of State by the end of March 2018.
Ofsted inspectors highlighted the “widespread and serious failures in the services provided to children and their families in Croydon that leave some children at risk of significant harm,” in their report in September 2017 which rated the authority inadequate.