Torbay Council’s Ofsted Report

(Last Updated On: August 24, 2018)

The findings of the recent re-inspection by Ofsted of Torbay’s children’s social care services have been published today.

The inspection was undertaken between 11 June and 5 July 2018 and focussed on reviewing direct work with children in need of help and protection, children looked after, adoption performance, and the experiences and progress of care leavers.

Inspectors concluded that overall, Torbay’s children’s services remain ‘inadequate’, but also recognised key areas of improvement .

Torbay Council has been judged inadequate since 2016 and, as a result, has been under the direction of the Secretary of State and a commissioner from Hampshire County Council appointed by the Department for Education.

Alison Botham said: ‘We are disappointed with the judgement of this Ofsted inspection, but we acknowledge the issues identified that have impacted on the pace and consistency of improvements and outcomes for children. We are already implementing recommendations requiring immediate action, in order to address the significant weaknesses identified in key areas.

‘I am pleased to see that the inspectors have recognised and highlighted areas of good work… As the new Director of Children’s Services I have a high expectation that we will keep children and young people at the heart of all our work, and that we will provide the right environment for all staff to deliver their best practice. The inspection was rightly challenging, thorough and rigorous. In addition to making clear recommendations for further action, the report also recognises improvements that have been made to date.’

Department for Education Commissioner, John Coughlan, said: ‘This latest inspection judgement from Ofsted is obviously disappointing. I know that staff and managers have worked very hard over the past two years and it is regrettable that sufficient progress has not yet been made on behalf of vulnerable children in Torbay. Personally, I am convinced by the evidence that recent progress has been made in both management and practice and I am sure that children in Torbay are safer now than they were two years ago.’

There are a number of key actions Torbay Council will now be focusing on, including timely practice to assess need, plan and respond effectively when protective action is required, visiting children and young people within required timescales, and reviewing all in-house foster carers, undertaking health assessments, and providing the necessary training and support.

Bob Jope

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!