Ofsted 2015 – Devon County Council

Ofsted carried out an unannounced four-week inspection of Devon County Council’s children’s services, including child protection, fostering and adoption, Integrated Children’s Services (ICS) and the Devon Safeguarding Children Board (DSCB), in February-March 2015.

The overall judgement is that children’s services now require improvement.

Ofsted’s inspection report says that the quality of work with children and families and outcomes for children and young people have improved in Devon, particularly over the last six months, and that the welfare of looked after children is safeguarded and promoted.

Significant areas remain where practice is not yet good enough and overall Devon County Council is not yet delivering the “good” protection, help and care for children, young people and families that we wish to achieve.

Inspectors make their judgements on a four-point scale: inadequate; requires improvement; good; and outstanding.

The separate judgements on areas of the service that contribute to overall effectiveness for this inspection are:

  1. Children who need help and protection –  requires improvement
  2. Children looked after and achieving permanence – requires improvement
    2.1. adoption performance – good
    2.2 experience and progress of care leavers – inadequate
  3. Leadership, management and governance – require improvement.

The 44-page report is on the Ofsted website (listed under ‘Latest assessment/report’).


Devon Children’s Improvement Plan

Following on from the Ofsted inspection, Devon County Council is required to produce an improvement plan to address the findings of the report – focusing on the areas of weakness identified by the inspection team. Devon County Council is developing a far reaching Devon Children’s Improvement Plan, which will set out the Council’s ambition to get to ‘Good’.

Devon County Council continues on its improvement journey, making great progress against the areas for improvement highlighted in the inspection report. This includes:

  • The new Children, Young Persons and Families Alliance which will help to strengthen leadership and management across the safeguarding system;
  • Embedding the early help agenda and providing a coherent package and clarity about how the Devon Assessment Framework should work;
  • A strong focus on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), joining up agencies and using data effectively for strategic use and local identification;
  • Targeting work with care leavers to achieve better outcomes;
  • Improved performance management and intelligence, engagement with young people and tapping into outputs from independent review;
  • Education and care working closer together to build on the excellent work already taking place– particularly for looked after children;
  • Embedding the area structure to ensure consistency as well as allowing individuality;
  • A more vibrant approach to commissioning with partners across the peninsula;
  • In everything, aspiring to be better, and working with partners to deliver better outcomes for our children and families.


Archive of supporting information

The supporting information relating to our response to Ofsted’s report and recommendations are available to refer to.