Thursday, 20 February 2014


Children and Young People Now’s report of the ‘inadequate’ rating achieved by Slough local authority in a recent Ofsted inspection of child protection services, actually made me warm a little to Ofsted, or at least to their inspector.

It is reported that Slough was continuing to experience difficulties recruiting enough qualified and experienced permanent social workers, with an "over-reliance on temporary staff". That certainly sounds like the real world of the organisations I used to work in.

It was further reported that this situation results in a great deal of re-work, resulting in "delays and drift in many children's cases". Again, that sounds like the places I used to work

Then there is the issue of “excessively high caseloads", resulting in social workers not having “sufficient time to spend with individual children to learn about their lives”. That sounds only too familiar. 

The inspector is said to conclude that this results in poor quality assessments, plans and outcomes for children. That sounds like a sensible deduction to me. 

Could Ofsted be getting the message? I hope so. 

Poor old Slough - this is not just their problem but an national one.