Children’s services improve

BRISTOL City Council’s children’s services have made significant improvements in the past five years – but there’s still a way to go.

That’s the verdict of an Ofsted inspection published last month that found the authority’s provision to require improvement in three out of five key areas. 

The report highlighted progress since the previous inspection in 2018, including in the quality of support provided to children in care and for care leavers, but noted that more must be done to ensure that children benefit from consistently good support. 

The report found strengths in the service and praised the work of social workers and support staff to ensure that children and young people feel valued and listened to, and for identifying the needs of disabled children. 

Bristol City Council and partners will now work together to produce an action plan in response to this report which will be submitted to Ofsted by the end of June. 

Councillor Asher Craig, Cabinet lead for Education, Children Services and Equalities said: “I welcome this report and its findings and fully accept that there are areas of our Children’s Services where we must work and build on to ensure that all our children and families receive a consistent level of support. We have a dedicated, caring and talented Children’s Services team who put families first. Children and families are a key focus for us which is underpinned by our Belonging Strategy, and I am confident that we have a committed senior leadership team in place which is passionate about making the changes needed, with a strong vision for the future of children’s services in Bristol.” 

Abi Gbago, the newly appointed Executive Director of Children and Education, said: “I am pleased that inspectors have recognised the significant improvements that have taken place since their last inspection. In the short time that I have been here I have been really impressed by the level of expertise and compassion across the teams and I know we have a strong commitment to our vision for Children’s Services from city leadership. We fully accept the findings of the report and are clear on the steps we need to take to deliver the improvements required whilst building on our strengths.”