Ofsted's first ever inspection of the whole range of children's services in Somerset has found that too many of them are inadequate.
The education watchdog found that while education standards are improving, Somerset County Council is not providing good enough support for vulnerable children.
None of the four children's homes inspected were judged good or better. Two children's centres serving 13,500 children under five were judged inadequate.
39 inspections of schools and special schools, pupil referral units, children's homes, children's centres and nurseries took place between 8 September and 3 October.
- A third were judged less than good
- Six places were judged inadequate
- A fifth of schools inspected require improvement
- No maintained schools were judged inadequate
The investigations also uncovered a number of strengths.
- Most primary and secondary pupils achieved well in all key stages
- Use of school-to-school support in primary schools is successful
- Pupils in care and those from disadvantaged backgrounds are making improved progress
- In Further Education, young people who are behind are catching up because of good support and close monitoring
Ofsted recommends that the council should have clearer strategic direction and management oversight where its children's homes are concerned.
It also needs to make secure arrangements for the safety and welfare of all children living in the county, including providing advice about safeguarding and child protection concerns to schools.
Somerset County Council has responded to the findings of the report.
It says it had already decided to close both of the Children's Homes judged to be inadequate before the inspection took place and is working intensively with the Children's Centres featured in the report to make improvements.