Bradford Council Children's Services rated '˜inadequate' by Ofsted

A council Children's Services department has been rated 'inadequate' by Government inspectors who said support for vulnerable youngsters has 'rapidly deteriorated' in the past 18 months.

Ofsted said children in Bradford were left “at risk of serious harm” in a report published this morning.

Inspectors said the main reason for the drop in quality was a huge increase in demand for services at the same time that social work staff were leaving Bradford Council to work for other local authorities.

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The report judges the council’s Children’s Services in three areas - the impact of leaders, which was rated “requires improvement”, the experiences of children in care, also judged to require improvement, and on the experiences and progress of children who need help and protection, which was inadequate.

The service was rated as inadequate overall.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “We are extremely disappointed that at our recent Ofsted inspection the services we deliver to protect the most vulnerable were found not to be meeting the high standards our children deserve.

“We are very sorry this has happened and we will act quickly and address it.

“We have increased spending in children’s services by six per cent this year but we are going to have to spend more on Children’s Services and we will deliver rapid improvements.”