Another step in the right direction for children's services
The government has given its backing to the improvements made to the council's social care services for children.
Support and supervision has been provided by the Department for Education (DfE) for the past year, since an Ofsted inspection gave Darlington children’s services an overall rating of ‘requires improvement to be good’.
This rating was a significant improvement on the previous Ofsted inspection, back in 2015, which resulted in deep-rooted changes being made to children’s services.
A letter from the DfE – sent to Councillor Heather Scott, Leader of Darlington Borough Council – recognises the ‘strong and committed leadership’ in children’s services.
It added: “There is evidence not only that the council has embedded improvement… but also that appropriate steps are being taken to identify and address further areas for improvement.”
The letter marks the formal end of the DfE’s intervention in Darlington children’s services and is seen as a milestone step towards the council’s goal of achieving outstanding outcomes for children and families.
Suzanne Joyner, Darlington Borough Council’s Director of Children’s and Adults’ Services, said: “This is another key point in our journey towards that coveted ‘outstanding’ rating.
“We know we still have a lot of work to do to get there, but I’m pleased that the DfE has recognised the progress we continue to make.”
Councillor Paul Crudass, the council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “This letter from the DfE makes very encouraging reading and I would like to say a big ‘well done’ to everyone who has helped strengthen children’s services in Darlington.
“In the relatively short time that I have had this Cabinet portfolio, I have very quickly seen that we have some very talented, dedicated people working hard to help our children and young people.”
“This is another key point in our journey towards that coveted ‘outstanding’ rating. We know we still have a lot of work to do to get there, but I’m pleased that the DfE has recognised the progress we continue to make.”
- Suzanne Joyner, Director of Children's and Adults' Services