Campaigning Sandwell councillor slams latest Ofsted failure

THE CAMPAIGNING Sandwell Councillor who continually raised concerns about the authority’s Children’s Services department believes the latest Ofsted failure is “no surprise.”

Ofsted inspectors rated the service for looked after children as inadequate and found the leadership, management and quality of provision wanting at the council.

Langley Independent Socialist Cllr Mick Davies, who runs successful children’s centres in Walsall, is demanding vulnerable children get better care from Sandwell Council.

He said: “Sadly the latest Ofsted judgement comes as no surprise but it seems there is some movement and this should be welcomed.

“However, with the million pound plus contract for an improvement partner in place and a change in portfolio holder,if there hadn’t been any changes Children’s Services would be in more trouble than they are now.”

Cllr Davies believes council chiefs should not complain about the Ofsted inspection’s results but embrace the findings.

He said: “Rather than complain about the inspection I would hope that Ofsted continue to inspect when they see fit and ensure that any positive changes are continued. It should be remembered.

“This is not a one off inspection but part of a process which has been going on for a number of years.”

He added: “This process has highlighted time and time again the incompetence in Sandwell’s Children’s Services.”

When the report was published on Friday Sandwell Council Children’s services boss Councillor Simon Hackett, who took over the troubled department in April, said he was “disappointed” by the report.

Cllr Hackett, who was praised in the report, said: “We have always accepted Ofsted reports but this time I think they have got it wrong. In fact we have put in a complaint to them about their conclusions.

“Things are improving and the pace of change is picking up. I am new in post and my focus is entirely on making things better.

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