London Borough of Enfield

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Children’s services are in good shape

Published Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Enfield Council and its partners including schools, health, police and the voluntary and community sector are doing a good job protecting children and providing high quality support for children in their care.

An Ofsted report, published this week, finds that services are good, exceeding minimum requirements. Out of 31 key measures, inspectors considered 29 to be good and just two were adequate.

Cllr Ayfer Orhan, cabinet member for education and children's services, said, "This report gives us an insight into the huge range of services that we provide and sheer quality of that work.  It is an absolute priority that we maintain high standards across all the services and that the most vulnerable children are well protected. I am delighted that the Ofsted inspectors observed such a wealth of good practice."

Inspectors write, "Safeguarding of children and young people is a high priority for the partnership and staff at all levels are determined and resolute about securing good outcomes."

There is praise too for the award winning Community Help Point Scheme which provides a network of safe places for young people around the borough.

And the Youth Engagement Panel set up by the police in 2008 is singled out for its excellent advice and information offered to young people by young people.

Inspectors note: "Health, police and Children's Social Care communicate very effectively via regular meetings and provide good exchange opportunities for staff to improve understanding of roles."

It is also noted that "Education welfare officers, parent support advisers and other education staff are having a positive impact on improving school attendance, significantly reducing the number of persistent absentees and preventing exclusions in primary schools."

The report points out "There were very few permanent exclusions in 2008/9 and none to date this year."

On child protection the report states, "Enquiries are conducted in a timely way by qualified social workers. "

On leadership and management the report states that, "Ambition and prioritisation are good, with some outstanding features. Highly capable senior officers and managers, who are passionate about improving outcomes for children and young people, place high priority on having strong, effective and responsive services."

This rigorous inspection took place over a two week period in May. Inspectors spoke to 78 young people and children, 21 parents and carers, front line managers, senior officers, leading councillors and chairs of the Safeguarding Children's Board.

They analysed reports from many sources including a review of the 'Children and Young People's Plan', performance data, serious case reviews and examined 70 case files for children and young people with a range of need.

Inspectors were impressed by the opportunities for children and young people and their parents to express themselves and to help shape services.

Andrew Fraser, Co-director for Education, Children's Services and Leisure, said, "It is a credit to our staff in these services and those of our partners that we are creating better and stronger support. I congratulate all those who have worked so hard to provide the quality services that our children need and deserve."

Police Commander, Dave Tucker, added, "Our partnership has created the foundations to help children feel safer and to open up the opportunities for them to learn. We are all working for good outcomes for children who need the support to lead fulfilling lives."

Dr Shahed Ahmad, Joint Director of Public Health, said, "While we have achieved a commendable 'good' in most aspects of our work we are determined to develop and improve - and we have the will to do so. Our commitment is to support vulnerable children and their families with first class services."

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