‘Steady progress’ in Sefton Children’s Services in latest Ofsted visit

12 January 2024 4min read

Sefton Children's Services is making ‘steady progress’ resulting in more ‘timely and responsive’ help for children and families in Sefton, an Ofsted inspector has concluded.

In a letter to the Department for Education, published today, the inspector commented on improvements to the quality of social work practice for vulnerable or disabled children and noted significant improvements in Sefton’s work with children at risk of exploitation.

The establishment of specialist teams was also praised in enabling professionals to pinpoint children who may be at risk and offer them enhanced support.


Cllr Mhairi Doyle, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said:

“I am pleased to see Ofsted begin to note the work that we have done in particularly for children with specific vulnerabilities. It is our job as corporate parents to protect our children and give them space and opportunity to thrive; this latest Ofsted visit has given us encouragement that we are moving in the right direction and identify some areas where we can do this better.

“Ultimately, we have a responsibility to our children in just the same way as any parent, to support them in whatever way we can. I want children in Sefton to grow up knowing that we care about them and believe in them and for Sefton to be a place where their voices are listened to and acted on.”


The MySpace (Sefton Protection Against Child Exploitation) team, launched in April 2023, was particularly praised for undertaking purposeful direct work with children and young people and diverting them into positive activities.

Ofsted inspectors also praised the work of ‘tenacious’ social workers in tackling disputes between families and children and noted the ‘nurturing and supportive culture’ that staff reported and that managers felt their contributions were valued and they had real ownership of the development of their service.


Responding to the letter from Ofsted, Dr Risthardh Hare, Director of Education and Children’s Services, said:

“Monitoring visits are a regular part of our improvement journey and they support us to identify areas of weakness and mark signs of progress.

“We were really pleased to see Ofsted recognise the clear signs of improvement in some areas of our work particularly in our development of specialist services and our services for children with complex needs, our better understanding of data and a more focused improvement plan, these changes largely due to the hard work and efforts of our dedicated workforce

“We know that we still have much more work to do alongside our partners to make Sefton Children’s Services better but we are encouraged that the changes we have been making over the last 18 months are making a difference and are confident that we are moving in the right direction to build a service that the children and young people of Sefton deserve.”


This report is the latest in a series of monitoring visits which track progress along the improvement journey ahead of a full inspection expected this year.

You can read the full report here 

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