Directive lifted as Blackpool Children's Services given further boost

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Further recognition has been made of improvements to children's care in Blackpool with the lifting of a government directive.

Blackpool Council was issued with a statutory direction by the Department for Education (DfE) after an Ofsted inspection in December 2018 found its children's services department was 'inadequate' with some children suffering 'chronic neglect'.

Blackpool Council has had the directive liftedBlackpool Council has had the directive lifted
Blackpool Council has had the directive lifted | National World

Since then there has been an overhaul of the department and additional investment of £4m which has mainly been spent on recruitment of more than 100 social workers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The directive meant the council was under close scrutiny by the DfE but the directive has been lifted on the understanding children’s social care services remains a key council priority.

David Johnston, Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing, says in a letter to the council: "Over what has been a challenging period, I am glad to hear of the financial investment in children’s social care services, the strengthening of leadership across the service and the stabilising of the council’s workforce."

Following a further Ofsted inspection in December 2022, the overall service was rated as ‘requires improvement’, but included a ‘good rating’ for the experiences of children in care and care leavers.

Coun Jim Hobson, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I am delighted that the Minister has recognised all of the improvements that have been made and removed the revised statutory direction which was issued in July 2019.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

 "Credit must go to our dedicated, ambitious and committed workforce within children’s services social care who are working day in, day out to provide better outcomes for local children and their families. It is clear to see that their hard work is paying off."

This decision relates only to children’s social care services, and means the council will continue to be overseen by the DfE on SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) services.

The letter from Mr Johnston adds: "Across the last four years, there has been a clear whole council commitment to prioritising children’s social care services and improvements were noted in Ofsted’s most recent children’s services inspection in December 2022.

"The council has maintained the pace of progress in the ensuing period, targeting work in the improvement areas identified at inspection.

"I am satisfied that leaders and social workers in Blackpool are ambitious in their desire to further embed and build upon improvements to date."

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.