Commissioner for Birmingham’s children services not needed

Birmingham City Council has expressed its delight after the Department for Education said that a commissioner for the council’s children services was no longer required.

The government has issued a revised statutory direction to Birmingham City Council confirming that ‘the Secretary of State intends to withdraw the children’s services commissioner’, following an Ofsted inspection in January that judged children’s social care services in the region as ‘requires improvements to be good’.

This marked the first time in more than a decade that they have not been judged inadequate.

Kate Booth, cabinet member for children’s wellbeing at Birmingham City Council, said: “I’m really delighted with the progress made in children social care services; we are on a positive upward trajectory and this has been confirmed.   We are of course not complacent and efforts continue in earnest to further improve children's social care as there is still a lot  more to do before our services are providing good outcomes for all of our children.

“The fact that a commissioner is no longer deemed necessary is a significant step in the improvement journey, which is ultimately about ensuring all our children get the best possible start in life.  Well done to everyone involved; you are working really hard so the children and families of Birmingham get the help and support they need.”

Andrew Christie, chair of Birmingham Children’s Trust, said: “Birmingham Children’s Trust came into being in April 2018, and since then we have seen children’s services come out of being judged by Ofsted ‘inadequate’ to now ‘requiring improvement to be good’. The publication of the revised statutory direction for Birmingham City Council’s children’s services, which highlights for the first time since 2014 that Birmingham no longer requires a commissioner, is another positive step towards the sustained improvement journey that is taking place. We will continue to support the development of some of the city’s most vulnerable children, young people and families.”