THE CHIEF executive of Sandwell Council hailed the “adequate” Ofsted rating of safeguarding services as “a moment to celebrate”.

Removing Sandwell’s Children Services department from the Government’s Improvement Notice was chief executive Jan Britton and Sandwell Council’s top priority for 2012.

Though the Ofsted report ruled that Sandwell Council only achieves the minimum standard of safeguarding children the relief of not being deemed “inadequate” was felt throughout the council.

Mr Britton, who earns £139,000 a year, said: “As chief executive, I would like to add my sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone in Childrens Services and across the council, Transform Sandwell and the borough who works with or for children.

“The word “adequate” does not describe the scale of the challenge or the changes you have made – but never has adequate sounded so good.”

He added: “This is great news for the borough as a whole.

“I recognise that partners and colleagues in the NHS, Police, schools and the charity and voluntary sectors have all contributed to this achievement.

“There is still a long way to go before we reach the goal of being excellent, of course, but this OFSTED report proves that we have the will and the capacity and the drive to continue improving.

This is a moment to celebrate – and, above all, it means that vulnerable children are safer than they were in the past.”

The inspection removes Sandwell from the group of fifteen Councils with an “inadequate, performs poorly” rating in OFSTED’s annual assessment of Childrens Services.

According to OFSTED’s Annual Report there are 33 other “Adequate” councils, 76 councils rated as “Good” and 28 that are “Excellent”.