This morning (Friday 13 January) Ofsted published its report about the inspection of Solihull's children's services. View the report here: Ofsted report
In response to the findings, Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said:
“We accept the findings of the Ofsted report relating to the inspection carried out in November. Although we are very disappointed at the grading, we are grateful to the inspection team for the thoroughness and detail put into their work, which will help us to make the necessary improvements.
“This Council is fully committed to making the necessary changes to children’s services and we understand what we need to do to improve and realise that we need to do this at greater speed than we are already doing.
“An Improvement Board was put in place last year made up of experts and a good representation from the agencies involved, including in particular the police, NHS, and Council, and improvements have already been made over the last 12 months. However, we are updating our improvement plan to ensure it addresses the things that Ofsted have found.
“A new leadership team is in place in children’s services. We have recruited more social workers to meet the rising demand from people contacting us with concerns about children, and this has provided us with the capacity to ensure there is a dedicated social worker for all the children that are assessed as needing one. This will help us to meet the continuing increase in demands for our services.
“Along with my fellow councillors, we have agreed to continue to invest significantly in children’s services over the coming years, as a priority for the Council.
“It is fair to say we have been under an unprecedented level of scrutiny over the last 12 months, culminating with the appointment of Sir Alan Wood, the Commissioner appointed by the Secretary of State, who has been working with us since November.
“We are doing our utmost to support Sir Alan in his review of the leadership across the three safeguarding partners – police, health and local authority – which is necessary to ensure we have the most effective way of securing and sustaining improvement in Solihull. Sir Alan will present his findings to the Secretary of State later this month and outline his recommendations.”