Archive from 2013

Peer Review 2014

Devon County Council commissioned a Peer Review from the Local Government Association to provide an independent assessment of safeguarding arrangements. The review was not an inspection, rather a supportive but challenging ‘critical friend’ approach to assist councils and their partners in identifying strengths and areas for improvement. However, it provides a good opportunity to test our preparations and progress for any future Ofsted inspection.

The review was headed by jointly by Cllr David Simmonds and Wendy Rudd and their team was in Devon for a week from Monday until Friday, 13-17 October 2014.

Andrew Ireland (Corporate Director, Social Care, Health and Wellbeing at Kent CC) has reluctantly had to withdraw as the Peer Review team leader.

The full peer review team included:

  • Review Manager: Peter Rentell – (Local Government Association)
  • Member Peer / Joint Review Team Leader: David Simmonds – (Health & Wellbeing Board – Member, London Borough of Hillingdon)
  • Review Analyst: Chris Baird (Assistant Director, Children’s Wellbeing at Herefordshire Council)


  • Education Peer: Lynn Beckett (Education Associate)
  • Health Peer: Lorraine Smith (Designated Nurse Safeguarding Children, West Sussex Health Authority)

Operational Peers:

  • Joint Review Team Leader: Wendy Rudd (Head of Safeguarding Assessment & Support, Hartlepool Borough Council)
  • Penny Hajek (Independent Consultant)


The scope of the review was defined by the Local Government Association’s Safeguarding Children Peer Review offer. We specified areas of focus which will help to provide assurance that we are meeting the requirements of the Improvement Notice that was issued to DCC by the Department for Education (DfE) following the outcome of Ofsted inspection of DCC’s arrangements for the safeguarding of children in April 2013. The areas of scope the Peer review focused on:

  • Overall improvement since the inspection, how to ensure it is sustainable and that corporate support is effective;
  • The effectiveness of the MASH and the early help offer including the contribution of partners;
  • The quality of practice, care planning and supervision for children in need of protection;
  • The voice of children and young people in their care and service development;
  • The effectiveness of the quality assurance system;
  • The quality of multi-agency practice in undertaking assessments for children in need of Early Help and the effectiveness of the support they receive as a result.


Further information

Further information on the LGA Peer Review process: