Hull City Council has confirmed the immediate measures it has taken to improve children’s services, following a two-day monitoring visit by Ofsted in January, when inspectors concluded that the experiences of children in care had “significantly declined.”
Accepting Ofsted’s findings, the council’s Leader and Chief Executive today confirmed that:
- All cases are in the process of being reviewed to ensure that children are receiving the right care and protection
- Niki Clemo OBE is to take on the role of Director of Children’s Services. Niki has a proven track record of successfully leading children’s services departments facing high demand and requiring significant improvement
- The council is working closely with its Improvement Advisor, with the Department of Education and with its regional children’s services networks in other authorities so that we can benefit from their support, experience and expertise
- A further £4.4m has been committed by the council over the next year to help meet the escalating demand on children’s services and to provide the additional capacity and resources needed to improve.
Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “Our work to support children, young people and their families in Hull is paramount and today’s report is obviously a huge blow. On behalf of the council, I sincerely apologise that these essential services are not achieving the high standards required and want to reassure our residents that our top priority is to improve them.
“We are ensuring we have the right leadership, expertise and resources to support our staff and partners as we re-double our efforts to make the improvements needed and deliver the best services we can and that Hull’s children and families deserve. Although we recognise that these problems aren’t all about funding, we have already committed an additional £4.4 million to support children in need of care. ”
Matt Jukes, Chief Executive of Hull City Council, said: “We are deeply disappointed with the findings of the Ofsted monitoring visit. We completely accept their assessment and I apologise for the failings identified.
“We have taken immediate steps to address the concerns raised during the inspection and Niki Clemo will be taking on the role of Director of Children’s Services, with further senior appointments to follow. We will benefit very quickly from her invaluable experience of improving children’s services in areas with significant challenges and high demand.
“Children and young people in Hull deserve the highest standards of care, protection and support and we are determined to help our committed and very hard-working staff achieve that, whilst recognising that it will require a collective effort from the wider council and our partner agencies to deliver the improvements needed.”