Norfolk education slammed

The provision of education in Norfolk has again been criticised by the Ofsted watchdog for the third time in the past six months.

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  1. Malcolm Robertson

Government warning to improve children's services in Norfolk

The Government has warned it will take over running children's services in Norfolk unless there's a dramatic improvement within the next six months.

It follows yet another damning report from Ofsted, the third in six months. The watchdog is highly critical of the way the county looks after children and fails to support school improvements.

It all adds up to a tough baptism for the new interim head of the department, Sheila Lock, who has been drafted in as a troubleshooter.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson


New damning report on Norfolk Children's Services

There's been another damning verdict on Norfolk's Children's Services after a ruling by Ofsted that the authority is failing some of the county's most vulnerable children.

In its latest inspection report, the education watchdog has rated services for looked-after children as "inadequate".

The government has warned it will step in if things don't improve.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson

Interim Norfolk education chief promises dramatic action

Norfolk interim Director of Children's Services Sheila Lock Credit: ITV News Anglia

The new Director of Children's Services, brought in to sort out education in Norfolk, has promised to dramatically improve the department's performance following a third critical inspection report.

Sheila Lock was appointed interim education chief after the previous director Lisa Christensen resigned in June.

Ms Lock said: "Ofsted and the Government have voiced their concerns about the performance of this department and they are right to do so because we need to do better by children, young people and families in Norfolk. Our performance isn't good enough and we must do something to change that."

Norfolk County Council has committed an additional £16 million to Children's Services to deal with some of the issues highlighted in a succession of critical Ofsted reports.

The council says Sheila Lock has 30 years of experience in public services and has turned around poor performance in a number of authorities.

Government could intervene in Norfolk education

The Government could intervene in Norfolk schools unless the county improves its education provision. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Government has warned council bosses in Norfolk that it will intervene to provide education in the county unless there is "rapid and sustainable improvement".

The county has just received its third critical Ofsted report in six months and recently replaced its Director of Children Services.

Education minister Edward Timpson has written to the authority saying the three watchdog reports suggest "widespread and systemic problems across Children's Services" but acknowledged there has been "prompt action to secure improvement".

Third critical report of education in Norfolk

Education services in Norfolk are again under fire after a third critical Ofsted report in the past six months. Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Education services in Norfolk are again under fire after a third critical Ofsted report in the past six months.

The education watchdog says the county's provision for children in care, so-called looked after children, is "inadequate".

The inspection took place in July. The report says Norfolk County Council is not carrying out its legal responsibilities for looked after children in key areas.

Among the findings:

The local authority's ambition for looked after children is too low.

The level of need was not forecast accurately and demand consistently exceeded the budget allocation.

Some children are not routinely visited by a social worker


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