Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Ofsted inspectors have recognised significant improvements to children’s services in Manchester, ruling that social worker caseloads and delays in the assessments of children are no longer ‘inadequate.’
The council’s comprehensive improvement plan, which instigated the recruitment of an extra 86 social workers and 14 managers, has been heralded as having made a ‘positive and widespread difference’.
The inspectorate found leadership, management and governance and adoption performance as good, highlighting how leaders demonstrated ‘a shared responsibility and an excellent understanding of the strengths and areas for development’.
Sheila Newman, executive member for Children’s Services, said: “We are very pleased that Ofsted have seen clear evidence of improvements since the last inspection and the positive difference that is being made to lives of Manchester children. This endorsement is the result of commitment, focus and sheer hard work by everyone involved in this process – from senior officers and members to frontline staff.
“This inspection result is a cause for satisfaction but not celebration. This is not the end of our improvement journey and there is absolutely no room for complacency. 'Requires improvement' means exactly that. We said at the time of the last inspection that we would not rest until services were rated 'good' and we remain firmly fixed on that goal. We are making clear progress but we are determined to keep improving to ensure we are delivering the best possible services for our young people. We know what we need to get there, have plans in place and our focus now is pressing on with them.”
Councils wanting to reduce pollution from toxic gases such as nitrogen dioxide from traffic on our roads must also consider how compliance can be cost-effectively achieved for the Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and Low Emission Zones (LEZ) that they are currently planning.
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