A council criticised for not stepping in before a father murdered his partner in front of their toddler has been deemed “inadequate” by Ofsted a second time.
Twelve months ago child protection services at Kingston upon Thames were criticised by Ofsted.
The latest report said too many children were experiencing delays in protection.
The council said it was determined to improve and had made progress.
During an unannounced visit, six Ofsted inspectors found the authority was “not meeting minimum requirements”.
Although some inroads had been made to improve, it found that it had taken too long to see children at risk, there was too much use of agency staff, there were tensions in relationships with the police, and a lack of detailed case recording and rigorous scrutiny.
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The number of children’s homes judged by Ofsted to be failing has more than doubled over the past year, while those classed as achieving the highest standards have fallen 40 per cent.
Provisional figures published today by the children’s services regulator shows that of the 1,986 children’s homes run by local authorities and independent sector providers to have undergone full inspections between April 2012 and March 2013, 309 (16 per cent) were classed as outstanding and 103 (five per cent) as inadequate.
By comparison, 518 of the 1,990 homes inspected in 2011/12 were judged to be outstanding (26 per cent) and 44 (two per cent) as inadequate.
A similar number of homes were assessed by Ofsted as being “good” between the two years (56 per cent in 2012/13 and 54 per cent in 2011/12), while the proportion classed as satisfactory/adequate rose slightly from 17 to 24 per cent over the two years.
However, the data suggests that a revised inspection framework introduced by Ofsted in April 2012 is resulting in fewer outstanding and more inadequate judgments, perhaps reflecting a toughening of standards expected from homes. The 2012/13 results brings scores almost exactly in line with those seen in 2010/11, after which a new inspection framework was introduced.
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