By KLTV Newsdesk
The way children and young people are supported in Kirklees has made further “significant progress”, the government has confirmed.
The Department for Education (DfE) has praised the continued improvements in local services after an independent review took place earlier this year.
In a letter to the council, the DfE said:
- While there are some ongoing areas for improvement, the review demonstrates significant progress in Kirklees
- Leadership is stable and focused and the workforce is settled and engaged
- There is improved partnership working and a collective commitment across the council to achieve the best possible outcomes for children
- Officials have every confidence that the council will continue to make improvements in services for children
Four years ago, Ofsted judged Kirklees Children’s Services to be inadequate and began to closely monitor the action being taken.
However, a re-inspection took place last year and services were deemed as requiring improvement in order to be good.
This latest announcement means the government will no longer be intervening, though it will continue to work with the council and offer support where needed.
The decision followed a joint review carried out by the DfE and the Leeds Relational Practice Centre.
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “This is excellent news. This was a priority for all councillors and the council. We are pleased that all the hard work of recent years is continuing to make a difference.
“We want our children and young people to have the best possible start in life, so it’s essential that the right support is in place. I want to thank all the councillors, officers and partners who have contributed to this journey. Our improvements will continue.
“It’s great news that the DfE has praised our commitment to improving young people’s outcomes. They are confident that we have the skills, leadership and knowledge to build on our progress.
Cllr Pandoor emphasised that while they are pleased with the result, the council must continue to aim for an even higher rating
He added: “Our ambition is for Children’s Services in Kirklees to be judged as outstanding and to be among the very best in the country.”
Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet Member for Children in Kirklees, said: “Last year’s Ofsted inspection had already highlighted a number of strengths, but this is further proof that we are heading in the right direction.
“We have a talented workforce who are dedicated to local families and I would also like to thank the many partner organisations who are equally committed to transforming lives across our district.
“A particular thanks to Leeds City Council for the support they have provided through our partnership work.
“Helping children to be healthy and happy is incredibly important to us. We will not lose our focus because there is always more to do in supporting families, protecting the vulnerable and preparing young people to achieve.”