Agenda item


Purpose of report: to provide a summary of the recent inspections of Surrey’s children’s services including the latest Ofsted Monitoring Visit and the final review by the Children’s Commissioner.





Mary Lewis, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families

Dave Hill, Executive Director for Children, Families, Lifelong Learning and Culture


  1. The Chairman thanked the service for the progress that had been made which had been evidenced through the Ofsted and Children’s Commissioner inspections. The Chairman recognised that there was more progress to be made but emphasised the importance of acknowledging the effort that had gone into making these improvements and the drive to ensure that Surrey’s children were supported.


  1. A Member asked whether all four social care area teams were performing well and whether the Executive Director had any concerns about a particular area. The Executive Director assured that the quest for consistency across the four social care quadrants was critical for the service. It was stated that historically the north east quadrant had most issues but a cultural change had been prompted by the office’s move from Leatherhead to Walton upon Thames. The Executive Director summarised that there was an improved situation with a strong group of directors who were working closely together.


  1. The Vice Chairman referred to a paragraph on page 67 of the report which discussed how ‘many reports will be further improved by greater concentration on the progress and measurement of planned objectives and fewer lengthy activity descriptions.’  The Executive Director there was day to day management of social workers by the team manager and the service manager. There was also a development and training programme in place and quality assurance measures, such as the audit programme which was focusing on particular areas rather than general practice. There was also a great deal of peer reviewing between the four quadrants which included carrying out mock inspections.


  1. The Chairman asked what was being done to improve practice with regard to improving reporting of child protection plans. The Executive Director stated that there were coaching sessions with the relevant teams to improve the quality of practice.


  1. The Vice Chairman also asked whether there could be guidance for schools that supported children who had been subjected to trauma and abuse. The Executive Director insisted that chronology of key events, with regard to neglected and abused children, were documented so that patterns could be discerned. They informed the Committee that they were considering a trauma-informed practice and that everyone interacting with a child who had been subject to trauma should be aware of that child’s experience. They stated that good progress was being made albeit it was still an area that required further attention.


  1. The Executive Director informed the Committee that at the beginning of April there would be a further monitoring visit from Ofsted with no pre-indication of what area of the service they would be looking at. The Executive Director informed Members that they report on the visit to the Select Committee.



  1. The Select Committee notes the overall findings and feedback from the recent Children’s Commissioner Visit and the fourth Ofsted Monitoring Visit.


  1. Recommends that the Select Committee receives a further update at the 25 June 2020 meeting on the delivery of the Children’s improvement programme and the findings from the April 2020 Ofsted Monitoring Visit.


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