Ofsted have today (Tuesday 21 January 2020) published the findings of their most recent visit to Manchester children’s services.
The focused visit, which took place only last month, looked at the Council’s arrangements for child protection and other support for children in need.
It found that Manchester has a “strong and effective leadership team supported by political and corporate leaders” and welcomed “effective and collaborative working” between the council, police and other partner agencies to “manage and reduce risks for children.”
Manchester’s Complex Safeguarding Hub - where social workers, police officers and others involved in supporting vulnerable children and their families are based under one roof to identify and reduce risks such as sexual or other criminal exploitation and pursue and prosecute offenders – is recognised as a “strength.”
Ofsted add: “Children benefit from enduring and trusting relationships with professionals who work creatively to increase their safety and, for some children, to reduce their risk.”
Inspectors also noted that current social workers in Manchester feel well supported by managers and engage well with children to find innovative and effective ways to work with and support them.
However, the report does also identify areas where improvement is still required including the quality and clarity of written records and letters to parents.
The full findings letter can be read here https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50143404
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “Doing all we can to keep children safe is our number one priority.”
“Just last week, with the publication of the Operation Augusta review report, we were shown the profound ongoing impact of past poor social work practice.
“It’s vital that we open ourselves up to independent expert scrutiny and challenge to keep improving how we support vulnerable children and demonstrate how things have changed.
“While this Ofsted feedback does not for one second detract from the seriousness of previous shortcomings, it does recognise that Manchester Children’s Services has made considerable improvements since then, and that it continues to improve.
“We can never say that things are perfect. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world and it’s a reality that some children still face abuse and neglect in our city. There will be no complacency about the support the Council provides to these vulnerable young people.
“Ofsted commented on the good work being done by our staff and that’s something I see for myself when I visit staff and talk to them about their roles. Staff do difficult work day in day out, protecting vulnerable children in the most challenging circumstances. As we look to assure ourselves that things are different now we need to challenge whenever things aren’t done well but also recognise and thank all those staff who are utterly dedicated to their work.”
For more information about the LGA peer review and challenge visit: