Frequently asked questions
What is Ofsted?
Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. Ofsted is a non-ministerial department.
What were they reviewing?
Ofsted completed an inspection of Children’s Services between 20 June and 13 July, 2017. It reviewed specific areas of the council’s Children’s Services department including children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers.
How do they make their decisions?
During the inspection a team of Ofsted inspectors visited the council where they looked at specific cases in detail and met staff, managers and partners. They also reviewed documents, performance information and case audits in order to make their judgement.
What were their major findings?
That Children’s Services were judged to be inadequate. Ofsted recognised that Croydon was improving standards but that it had not acted quickly enough for the changes made to have an impact The report can be downloaded from the Ofsted website.
What action has the council taken since the inspection took place?
The council is addressing all the issues raised as a priority. It has already invested further funding to help support and modernise working practices for all its children’s social workers and frontline staff. An action plan is in place which you can download.
A recruitment drive is launching to bring in more social workers, an extra social work team has been created to reduce workloads, and a new social care director appointed. An improvement board, with an independent chair, has been set up to oversee the improvement programme and the council continues to work with Ofsted on an improvement plan.
What happens if the service doesn’t get better?
The council is working with Ofsted on an action plan to improve the service. However, if the necessary changes are not made quickly enough then the DfE reserves the right to decide whether the service should remain in council control.
Are Croydon children safe?
We are taking all necessary steps to ensure that children are kept as safe as possible. We have commissioned external auditors to review casework in order to provide assurance and will continue to have external audit throughout the improvements we need to make. We will take immediate action where we do find issues to address.
How will you update people on what you are doing?
We will update people in a number of ways including regular updates to staff and partners, and via our website to residents. All work will be reviewed at the council’s Overview and Scrutiny committee, which is a public meeting and webcast.
Are the improvement board meetings and minutes public? Where can I find the council’s action plan
The improvement board meetings and minutes are not public but the work of the improvement board will be reviewed at meetings of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee. The council’s action plan will be published in November by Ofsted.