Children's services ranked among top

A council's children's services have kept their place as one of the best in the country after getting a "performing excellently" rating from Ofsted inspectors.

It is being announced today that York Council's children's services have been given the highest possible rating in their 2010 performance assessment.

The assessment, which is carried out on all authorities, focuses on the quality of schools, early years provision and wider children and young people's services as well as the impact the children's services are collectively having on the lives of children and young people in the city.

Last year York was one of only nine authorities nationally, and only two outside of London, to be awarded the top rating.

Coun Carol Runciman, executive member for children and young people's services, said: "I am delighted that the excellent work done in the department has been recognised by independent inspectors.

"This report demonstrates that services to children in the city are of an exceptionally high standard and that continuous improvements are being made.

"Our staff deserve a great deal of credit for their hard work.

"Their dedication ensures that the service is always looking for ways to make a positive impact on the lives of children in York."

Coun Runciman added: "My thanks go to everyone who has contributed to this tremendous result."

Peter Dwyer, York Council director of adults children and education, said "To maintain a description of excellence is an endorsement of the quality of the work of staff across partners in the city.

"We are genuinely making progress in our quest to make York one of the very best places for all children and young people to grow up."

In the report, Ofsted inspectors particularly praised the council for its work helping vulnerable pupils.