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Children's services in a London borough are facing a major challenge due to an alarming increase in violent knife crime, but are starting to deal with the problem more effectively, Ofsted has said.

A council has been praised by inspectors for averting a decline in the performance of its children's services due to rising demand and budget cuts.

Children's services in Darlington have risen from "inadequate" to "requires improvement" after Ofsted inspectors found "considerable" progress at the local authority.

Ofsted has praised improvements at two councils where children's services were previously rated "inadequate" following visits to check on progress.

High social worker caseloads are threatening to undermine efforts to support vulnerable teenagers in Stoke, according to Ofsted.

London council moves out of 'inadequate'

By Joe Lepper |

09 May 2018

Children's services at a London council are no longer judged to be "inadequate" following a fresh inspection of provision by Ofsted.

The government has agreed to hand a council a £2.9m grant towards the cost of setting up a trust to run its children's services, two years after it was rated "inadequate" by Ofsted.

Ofsted closes six more unregistered schools

By Joe Lepper |

17 April 2018

A further six suspected illegal schools have been closed down by Ofsted in the space of a month.

Ofsted has criticised a council for the "unacceptable" use of screening visits by social workers to families prior to making a referral decision.

Effective use of children's centres to offer early support to vulnerable families is helping an "inadequate" council turn around its performance, Ofsted has found.