Peter Lewis, Interim Director of Children's Services, Somerset County Council:
– Conservative Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Somerset County Council.
We haven’t reached the standards that Ofsted set for us or that we set for ourselves and that is very disappointing.
We are taking urgent action to make sure we do everything this report requires within its timescales, and then to use it to help drive further improvements in the future.
The report confirms the inspectors saw examples of good practice here in Somerset, and we are determined to make sure that this is the norm right across our whole service.”
– Peter Lewis, Interim Director of Children’s Services, Somerset County Council.
We totally accept Ofsted’s findings but will work with the positives too.
Everyone connected to the service will be disappointed by these findings.
The job now is to use this report to ensure we improve in all areas.
We have many excellent people working here and we will all pull together to do this.”
– Sheila Wheeler, Chief Executive, Somerset County Council
We had already identified areas for improvement and have been taking action.
We now have the right people in the right place doing the right things.
We will, of course, follow through all of Ofsted’s recommendations.
Ofsted has recognised our investment in the service and our appointment of a nationally recognised Interim Director of Children’s Services, Peter Lewis, to steer us through the changes we need to make.
We do acknowledge that our speed of change has not been fast enough.”
- Most children who are at risk of harm are identified and receive help to protect them.
- A number ofcases where not enough was done to protect children, and where the riskof harm remained present for too long.
- Lack of clarity among the different agencies about thresholds for children’s social care involvement.
Somerset County Council has failed an unannounced inspection by the Government watchdog Ofsted.
It has rated the county council's services for protecting young children as 'inadequate.'
Inspectors found a number of cases where not enough was done to protect children, and the risk of harm remained present for too long.
The Council has accepted the critical report and pledged to address all of the recommendations.