Fake News?

OfStEdI’m generally in favour of putting a positive spin on events but sometimes, especially when your stakeholders include members of the public, you’ve got to be a bit up front with the facts.

The County Council has just had an OfStEd inspection of its Children’s Services. In the press release regarding OfStEd’s report Council Leader Councillor Steve Count said, ‘I am very pleased that inspectors recognised the commitment to supporting children’s services by the Council as a whole. Children’s services are a very high priority for me personally as Leader and it gives me great confidence that Ofsted have given us an independent vote of confidence that the changes and investment we have made will deliver the improvements needed’.

Trouble is Mr Count was being selective with the truth. This is how OfStEd begins its report:

CCC OfStEd

OfStEd last inspected CCC in June 2014 when it rated the County Council ‘good’ overall. This time it’s true that it had some good words to say about the way that the Council was responding to its challenges but noted that it was too early to say whether or not recent initiatives would have the desired effect.

I don’t wish to be over critical. There are many very good officers working in Children’s Services but they are stretched and recent changes don’t really seem to address what’s really important viz ensuring that children get the best start in life. Some have been vocal about this and it doesn’t help if the Leader of the Council pretends that everything is in good shape and there’s nothing to worry about.

Click here if you want to read a copy of the OfStEd report.

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