Monday, July 15

Department for Education takes control of Tower Hamlets Children’s Services




The Department for Education (DfE) has issued a formal Direction order to Tower Hamlets council due to the inadequate performance in children’s services revealed in the Ofsted report of April this year.

Staff from Lincolnshire County Council and Islington Council are to be appointed by the DfE as Intervention Advisers and Alan Woods CBE is to chair the Children’s Services Improvement Board (CSIB).

Alan Woods was one of the four Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Commissioners who took control of Tower Hamlets council between December 2014 and March this year.

Children’s Services criticised by Ofsted

The latest development is regarded by the Council as the next formal step as a result of the damning Ofsted report into Children’s Services published in April and comes hard on the heels of the row over the fostering of a five-year-old girl last month.

Cllr. Rachael Saunders (Labour, Mile End) came under criticism for failings in her role as Lead Member of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB).

Local Safeguarding Children Board reviews

The DfE Direction is open ended. The Intervention Advisers are required to carry out six monthly reviews of Children’s Services in the borough, the first review to be submitted in February 2018.

The reviews include: practice, performance, culture, leadership, management and governance, workforce and management oversight, early help and the efficiency of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

The Chair of the Improvement Board is required to report to the Secretary of State for Education on progress in delivering the improvement plan on a quarterly basis, the first report being due by the year end.