1. Tom Sheldrick

'Significant progress' at Sunderland Children's Services

Authorities in Sunderland have made "significant progress" in providing support for young people leaving the care system, according to the watchdog Ofsted.

Inspectors last month carried out their first monitoring visit, specifically focused on care leavers, since rating the city's overall children's services department as inadequate in July 2015.

Read More: July 2015 - 'Serious failings' in Sunderland's children's services

Last December, Sunderland City Council agreed with the government to set up an arms-length company to run services for children, which is due to begin work in shadow form in the next few weeks, and become fully operational next April.

Read More: Dec 2015 - The search for solutions at Sunderland children's services

"We know that we’ve still got a long way to go and a lot of work to do before services are where they need to be, but it’s heartening to know we are beginning to make inroads in improving the lives of children and young people."

– Council Leader, Cllr Paul Watson