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Surrey Children’s Services Improvement Recognised by Ofsted

Published on: 18 May, 2024
Updated on: 20 May, 2024

During a recent focused visit of Surrey’s children’s services, Ofsted recognised the “comprehensive improvement programme”, noting that “progress for children is evident in the improved quality and timeliness of assessments, the increased timeliness of visits to children, and a more consistent application of thresholds.”

Inspectors found “children have positive relationships with their social workers because the social workers invest their time in getting to know them [and they] understand the importance of families working together”.

Ofsted carried out a focused visit of Surrey’s children’s services on April 16 and 17, which specifically looked at arrangements for children in need or children who are the subject of a child protection plan. It found, “children receive support and protection in accordance with the level of need and risk, and thresholds are applied appropriately”.

The leader of the council and cabinet members were also recognised, noting they “provide effective oversight and have high aspirations for children and their families”, and senior leaders have a “deep understanding of the quality of practice and where further improvements are needed”.

Inspection findings also note “children’s plans are mostly comprehensive, with clear actions to help parents to meet children’s needs” and “children and families benefit from a range of effective family support services to help them in their lives”.

Cllr Clare Curran

Clare Curran, lead Cabinet member for Children, Families and Lifelong Learning, said: “This letter following the focused visit from Ofsted is positive progress and I am particularly pleased that it recognises the improvement journey we’ve been on in recent years. I’m proud of our staff and partners who work extremely hard and put children and families at the heart of everything we do, ultimately helping to achieve our ambition that no one in Surrey is left behind.

“There is always more to be done and we will continue our improvement journey. We are already working on areas for improvement, but this report shows that we’re taking the right steps and going from strength to strength in Surrey.

“Surrey is a fantastic place to work, and I encourage any social workers considering a move to contact us. We are dedicated to developing our teams and providing the right level of support and supervision to ensure the right outcomes for our children.”

A thorough recruitment, retention and culture programme is helping leaders to further focus on attracting and growing their own staff and pay incentives and enhanced worker support are helping to improve staff recruitment and retention.

Inspectors found “social workers value supervision and describe managers who are flexible and unwavering in their support”. Most staff have manageable workloads, with the service actively recruiting to further bolster capacity. Inspectors said social workers “speak positively about the visibility and communication from senior leaders” and “the focus on continued professional development and how the variety of training provides them with the skills to do their work”.

Ofsted inspections occur every three years. The full Ofsted report can be found here:

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