DfE removes statutory intervention at ‘improved’ Wakefield children's services

Fiona Simpson
Monday, January 17, 2022

The Department for Education has revoked statutory intervention measures at Wakefield Council’s children’s services after it was rated "good" by Ofsted.

Wakefield Council has been praised by the children's minister. Picture: Adobe Stock
Wakefield Council has been praised by the children's minister. Picture: Adobe Stock

Children’s minister Will Quince wrote to the council last week, praising its “considerable achievement over what has been a very challenging 18 months”.

He said the jump from "inadequate" to "good" was a “testament to the strong practice from social workers”.

“I was impressed to see comments about strong leadership, which has resulted in high quality practice, workforce stability, improved partnership working, and ultimately led to the ‘outstanding’ sub-judgment for leadership,” Quince added.

A direction notice for statutory intervention at the council was issued in June 2018 after inspectors found “serious and widespread failures across children’s services in Wakefield”.

“Inspectors found cases of children throughout the services for whom risk had not been identified and where appropriate action had not been taken to help and protect them,” the 2018 report said.

However, following an inspection in November last year, inspectors noted that “services for children in Wakefield are of a good quality and have significantly improved since the last inspection in 2018”.

Children’s services leaders have made “steady and sustained progress to establish a sustainable, ambitious and child-focused service”, adds the most recent Ofsted report.

Speaking after the report was published earlier this month, Wakefield Council leader Denise Jeffery said: “The report clearly acknowledges the significant changes and vast improvements that have been made across all children’s services, and most importantly highlights the positive impact that this is having on children and their families.

“Families have the commitment from my council and I, that we will continue to drive improvement, wherever possible, placing children and young people at the very heart of everything we do.”

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