Formal partner for children’s services confirmed at Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Stoke on Trent City Council wants to make you aware that a formal partner for children’s services has today been confirmed. Leeds City Council has been appointed as the authority’s official Improvement Advisor for an initial period of 12 months, to work with the council to support delivery of its children’s social care services function.

The Secretary of State for Education has authorised the partnership in a Statutory Direction to the Council issued today. It follows a recommendation to seek a long-term local authority partner, by Children’s Commissioner Eleanor Brazil, who is working on behalf of the Secretary of State to oversee the city council’s improvements after its children’s services were judged inadequate by Ofsted in 2019.

This means that with immediate effect, the city council will now benefit from an intensive package of support delivered directly by Leeds City Council. Leeds City Council’s children’s services have been judged outstanding by Ofsted. They will help the council to drive through necessary improvements over an initial one-year period by working with the council to support delivery of its children social care services functions, providing expertise, additional capacity, leadership, insight and challenge.

Improving children’s services is our number one priority. The size and scale of the challenge we face is significant and this partnership gives us the opportunity to learn from an outstanding authority and accelerate the improvement work that we have been progressing, with support provided by Stockport and Essex councils on a shorter term basis. Improvement required at this scale can take between two and three years. Securing an experienced and outstanding local authority Improvement partner is a significant milestone in driving forward much-needed change and will only benefit the most vulnerable children and young people in the city.

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