Redbridge children’s services rated Outstanding by Ofsted
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Redbridge Council’s children’s service has been praised for dealing with the “emerging risks associated with gangs” and been rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
The grading is an improvement on the last Good inspection in 2016 and put the local authority among the top performers in the country.
Inspectors highlighted the council's work addressing county lines and exploitation and said it was "meeting these challenges well and taking determined and proactive steps to improve outcomes for children".
The inspection took place in April and May this year and the report stated that highly effective practice is understood, embedded and recognised by the council.
It praised senior managers who were said to demonstrate "relentless drive and ambition for children" leading to the provision of consistently strong and highly effective services.
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"This exemplary management has created conditions that afford workers the time, professional expertise and capacity to get to know children and young people well," it read.
"This best practice secures positive experiences and good progress for children."
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Ofsted also said that children in care benefit from thoughtful social workers who know them exceptionally well and foster carers feel valued and listened to and provide stable homes. Care leavers also receive good support into adulthood.
Council leader Councillor Jas Athwal said: "I know how hard our cabinet member for children and young people, Elaine Norman, and council staff are working to provide the best services for our local young people and this work is clearly paying off.
"Despite losing 60per cent of our council funding over the past decade, and being the lowest funded London borough for children's services, I have always been determined that this administration will continue to deliver for residents.
"Ensuring our children and young people are properly provided for is our responsibility but it is also our privilege.
"I want to congratulate everyone involved in both devising and delivering an exemplary service."
Cllr Norman added: "Determination, hard work and an exceptional ambition to improve, from our skilled and thoughtful practitioners through to the senior leadership team, has led to this result.
"I'd like to thank every one of them.
"For Ofsted to recognise the significant progress we have made for the most vulnerable children in our borough makes me extremely proud."