Progress of Leeds children’s services is recognised

NOTICE IS REMOVED: Under Secretary of State for Children and Families Tim Loughton MP.

NOTICE IS REMOVED: Under Secretary of State for Children and Families Tim Loughton MP.

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An improvement notice slapped on Leeds’s children’s services has been lifted.

The decision was announced in a letter from Tim Loughton, Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, to council leader Keith Wakefield.

He said he was pleased to hear of “significant improvements” achieved and clear plans for a continued focus on safeguarding children and young people in Leeds.

The improvement notice was served following an Ofsted inspection launched in 2009, which concluded that some children were being left “at potential risk of serious harm”.

It came after a serious case review into the death of two-year-old Casey Mullen, from Gipton.

It found improved communication between agencies in the city could have prevented the toddler being murdered by her uncle in 2007.

Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services welcomed the news that the notice had been lifted. She said: “This is great news for Leeds and I’d like to thank everyone from the council and from our partner agencies, who have worked so hard to improve services for vulnerable children and young people.

“It is good to have this progress acknowledged.

“However, we have said many times that our improvements this year are only laying the foundations for what we want to achieve in Leeds.

“That is why we have started our campaign to make the whole of Leeds a child-friendly city and why we have launched our Education Challenge to help schools raise standards and share good practice.”

Ofsted inspectors have reported that five of the nine measures previously assessed as inadequate were now “good”.

The other four were rated as “adequate.”

Mr Loughton wrote: “I no longer consider the improvement notice to be necessary and am lifting this with immediate effect.”

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