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
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.