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Children: Social Services

Department for Education written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Conservative, Ludlow

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of ending independent inspections of local authority children's services on the effectiveness of the safeguarding of young people by those services.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

A uniquely independent and balanced assessment of all local authority children’s social care departments is provided by Ofsted and, as such, the inspectorate is an important driver of standards and accountability in the system. Where Ofsted inspectors use their powers to take a focussed look at the lived experience of children in a given area, and find a local authority is failing (‘inadequate’) to protect children or promote their welfare, the government is then able to take quick and decisive action to intervene and make services safe as quickly and decisively as possible. In recent years, we have seen an improvement in the performance of local authority children’s social care services, with 48% of local authorities now rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, compared to 36% at the end of 2017.

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