Wirral Council children’s services rated ‘inadequate’

Ofsted has rated children services run by Wirral Council as ‘inadequate’, after an investigation found ‘widespread and serious failures’.

Investigators from Ofsted found that equities into abuses cases ‘were not always compliant’ with guidelines, poor record management and inadequate services for care leavers.

The Ofsted report said that leadership and management, the experiences and progress of care leavers and the services provided to children who need help and protection as inadequate. The report also identified a high staff turnover and a failure to recruit a permanent head of services.

The council maintained that £2 million was being investigated to improve children’s services, by creating more effective training and development for staff and recruiting and retaining social workers.

Julia Hassall, director of children's services, said: "Social workers are constantly being asked to do more, with much less... but we need to create the right environment for our staff, and give them the right tools to do their jobs well."

Eric Robinson, chief executive of the council, said: "These failings are unacceptable... It is absolutely vital we put them right as quickly as possible."

The Department for Education (DfE) said it takes ‘tough action where councils are failing children’ and expects Wirral Council to improve as a matter of urgency.

The DfE is set to review the local authority's progress in six months.