Room for progress at Wakefield Council

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OFSTED INSPECTORS have found that children’s services at Wakefield Council require improvement but praised the progress made during the past three years.

They said that services for children who need help and protection, and the leadership, management and governance need improvement.

However, the adoption service and the experience and progress of care leavers is good.

The report highlights the good support for young people in care during their education.

It says: “The percentage of care leavers in education, employment and training in 2014−15 was 52 per cent, four percentage points higher than the figure for both statistical neighbours and the rest of the country.”

The report adds: “Care-leaving staff work very effectively with educational providers in the area to identify courses for care leavers and then to support them through the enrolment process.”

Ofsted’s report also praises the impact of the appointment of director of children’s services on the department.

John Wilson, corporate director for Children and Young People at Wakefield Council, said the welfare of the young was of paramount importance.

“The Ofsted report has highlighted that children in Wakefield are safe, that we listen to children and their views are taken into account when decisions are made,” he said.

“I am pleased that Ofsted recognise managers have improved the way professionals work with families, which is supporting more families to stay together, where it is safe.”

He said the council was committed to achieving the very best for all young people.

He added: “Continued improvement is the key to ensure that we are providing a consistently good-quality service.”

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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