Ofsted update – June 2013

Devon County Council was recently the subject of an unannounced Ofsted inspection into Devon’s arrangements for the protection of children. Thank you to everyone who participated and spent time with the inspectors; we know this can be a very tiring and disruptive experience for all involved.


We are expecting the final report from Ofsted imminently and are expecting the report will find our services inadequate. We are naturally disappointed with this and are clear that this does not accurately reflect the hard work undertaken day-in day-out, the many examples of excellent practice there are across the county, nor the improvements we are already making.


Despite this, we do not intend to waste precious time and effort challenging Ofsted’s view nor be complacent about the areas of improvement that we do need to focus on. It is always important to listen and learn.  We will do that and we will work together to rise to the challenges presented by this inspection finding.


We also understand that the inspectors did not report on a single child being at immediate risk of harm and concluded:


  • Frontline staff are enthusiastic and hard-working and doing a good job in the communities they serve.
  • Our schools and our staff are good at understanding when children are having problems and helping families with difficulties.
  • And that we were already making improvements to our services before their unannounced visit but that these changes have not yet had time to bear fruit.


Any direction given by Ofsted about how we must improve in certain areas of our work will be considered very carefully.


We take the safety and protection of all children and young people extremely seriously, and are continually monitoring and assessing our service to identify and action improvements.


An action plan is in place and we have begun to implement this with tighter quality assurance and targeted training.


There must also be a continued emphasis on those areas recognised as good practice such as our work on domestic violence, private fostering, family group conferencing and the child and parent assessment service.


If you have any questions or concerns about the report, please do not hesitate to email us directly.


Phil Norrey                                                                 Jennie Stephens

Chief Executive                                                         Strategic Director People