Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster reacted to the latest OFSTED report which rated Torbay Council’s Children’s Services as “Inadequate”.
Whilst the report indicates some improvements are being made, with Torbay’s Adoption Service moving from “Requires improvement” to “Good”, other areas have not progressed quickly enough, including on key Child Protection Services. The overall rating remains “Inadequate”.
Torbay Council has been judged inadequate since 2016 and, as a result, has been under the direction of the Secretary of State and a commissioner from Hampshire County Council appointed by the Department for Education. The focus of the commissioner was to advise on the fundamental structures and leadership which needs to be in place to enable Torbay to make and sustain improvement. As a result of the commissioner’s review and recommendations, Torbay and Plymouth Councils entered into a contractual arrangement with a joint Director of Children’s Services. The arrangement was established in April this year and the joint Director of Children’s Services, Alison Botham, took responsibility for Torbay on Friday 6 July 2018.
Kevin said: “It is disappointing to hear Torbay’s Children’s Services remains inadequate, although it is welcome to hear of the improvements in the Council’s Adoption Service. For too long these key services have simply not been good enough. The partnership with Plymouth gives a real chance to make long term improvements and I have been pleased to discuss these with the new Joint Director, who must be given the support she needs to make a difference.”
“I know from speaking with leading Councillors ensuring the long-term improvement of these key services will be a priority for them, both before and after the abolition of the Mayoral Administration in May. I have also agreed to arrange a meeting between senior Councillors and the Local Government Minister to examine the financial pressure Torbay Council is facing from these services.”
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