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Ealing and Northfield

Ealing children and young people services getting better

The re-organised children and young people service has just gone through a large scale Annual Performance Assessment the results of which are published today, see link. This is run by CSCI and Ofsted. A whole load of people pile into this including the Audit Commission, DfES, Youth Justice Board, Health Care Commission and the Adult Learning Inspectorate.

The list above shows how wastefully governed we are but at least they try to co-ordinate all of this meddling in one overall exercise.

The council has improved in this area to the point that it is getting Good and Excellent grades for this service:

Areas for judgement

Grade awarded

The contribution of the local authority’s children’s service in maintaining and improving outcomes for children and young people

3 (Good)

The council’s overall capacity to improve its services for children and young people

4 (Excellent)

The contribution of the local authority’s social care services in maintaining and improving outcomes for children and young people

3 (Good)

The report says:

The services which the London Borough of Ealing provides for its children and young people are consistently above minimum requirements. There is a clear track record of improvement in all areas of its work and in most [areas] Ealing performs better than comparable authorities. The authority works well with its partners to make sure that services are appropriately targeted at those who need them most, and in response to consultations with young people, seeks to deliver them in a coordinated, seamless way. There has been a concerted effort to tackle areas of weakness identified in last year’s APA and there are clear signs of improvement.

There is still room for improvement though and the APA identified 12 areas of improvement:

  • the slow rate of referall of young people to CAMHS (mental health services)
  • the lack of timely assessments for young offenders with substance misuse problems
  • the number of re-registrations on the child protection register
  • the lack of timeliness of reviews for looked after children
  • attainment at Key Stages 1 and 2
  • attainment of Somali boys
  • the number of permanently excluded pupils in alternative tuition for more than a year
  • the lack of transition plans for children with disabilities aged 14
  • participation in looked after children reviews
  • over representation of black and minority ethnic young people in the criminal justice system
  • the involvement of Asian young people in the Youth Forum
  • funding for the youth service

Tomorrow would have been the 15th birthday of Victoria Climbie. She had first lived in Ealing after being brought to England from her home in the Ivory Coast via France. Ealing social services failed to intervene after being told by a relative that Victoria was being abused.

We know what the stakes are.