Cordelia Law

Bay takes another huge step towards 'child friendly' status

Torbay Weekly

An official ‘eye’ on Torbay’s children’s services has been lifted to boost the resort’s bid to achieve Child Friendly status.

Torbay Council received notification that the revised ‘Statutory Direction’ issued by the government in May 2021 is to be lifted.

After receiving an ‘inadequate’ rating following its last two Ofsted inspections, the Department for Education issued the revised Statutory Direction which required the local authority to continue taking steps to improve its children’s social care services.

The news that it was being removed was confirmed by Will Quince, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, Department for Education, who descried the improvement as ‘an impressive achievement over what has been a very challenging period.

The decision is based on the landmark improvements shown in the latest Ofsted’s inspection report of the services.

It showed significant improvements had been made since the last inspection in 2018 and is now rated ‘good’ across the board. Inspectors acknowledged the improvement as a ‘remarkable transformation’.

Ofsted inspectors highlighted a highly effective approach to recruitment and retention, strong strategic partnerships, the creation of a clear and ambitious improvement plan, and a strong political and corporate commitment to Torbay’s improvement agenda.

Cordelia Law, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The news that the revised Statutory Direction has now been lifted is a significant symbol of our transformative journey.

“However, we will not rest on our laurels. This recognition from the government shows that we now have the foundations needed to continue to make the improvements required as we continue to work hard to build on our vision for a Child Friendly Torbay, where all children can thrive.”

Deputy leader Darren Cowell said: “This a fantastic achievement for the whole council and we are thrilled to hear the government comment that this is ‘an impressive achievement’

“It is important that we continue to operate with this whole council approach, keeping the needs of vulnerable children at the forefront of our priorities.”