It is positive that this report recognises significant improvements from councils in providing children’s services, despite the many challenges they face in the education, said Cllr Louise Gittins, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board.
Responding to the Ofsted Annual Report 2021/22, Cllr Louise Gittins, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“It is positive that this report recognises significant improvements from councils in providing children’s services, despite the many challenges they face in the education, early years and children’s social care sectors.
“It is testament to councils’ efforts that over half of councils’ children’s services have been graded outstanding or good – an increase from over a third after each council’s first inspection under the previous framework.
“This will however be extremely difficult to maintain without government action.
“This should include adequately funding and urgently addressing the worsening workforce shortages in children’s social care, if vulnerable children are to get the best possible support.
“Government should also fully fund early years entitlements, ensuring providers get the support they need while enabling all children to have access to nursery places, alongside a well-resourced workforce.
“In addition, the increase in demand for SEND support is placing councils under significant financial strain, with latest figures showing that over 473,000 children and young people have an Education, Health and Care Plan in England as of January 2022, an increase of 10 per cent or 42,000 over the previous 12 months.
“The Government should not delay any further its responses to the SEND green paper and Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, which both need to set out long-term transformational reforms that ensures we better meet the needs of children.”