Staff turnover stalling child service improvement

The frequent turnover of frontline staff is hindering the improvement of children's services in Reading, Ofsted has found.

The report from an inspection of services in mid March says that while the appointment of permanent team managers is a "positive step", the precarious situation of a large part of the workforce indicates "ongoing fragility".

Assessing children's single point of access (CSPoA), the report also found "inconsistent provision" of social work where there were child protection inquiries. No child, however, was found to be at immediate harm.

Child looking out a window
Ofsted has warned frequent staff turnover is affecting child service improvement

Weakness with SEND at Surrey council 'unresolved'

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

School children walking along a street
David Jones / PA

An increasing rate of absence and exclusions of special needs pupils in mainstream schools is still a weakness for Surrey County Council, inspectors have found.

Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) revisited Surrey’s SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) service after a 2016 inspection identified serious weaknesses.

They said “serious issues” affecting the attendance of SEND pupils remained “unresolved”.

The council said it would work more closely with parents, teachers and experts to uncover the causes of absence and to understand the impact on the child and their family.

In its report to the council, inspectors stressed actions taken since the 2016 inspection “have not had enough impact”.

Campaigners welcomed the report, saying the “lack of a coordinated plan to meet the needs of these ‘hidden children’ has been felt keenly” by families.

No more inspection visits will be carried out unless directed by the Secretary of State.