Government lifts Surrey children’s services improvement notice

An improvement notice set up at Surrey County Council’s children’s services two years ago after Ofsted found a series of failings has been lifted.

Junior children’s minister Tim Loughton confirmed in a letter that the government was ending its intervention in Surrey.

The move comes after Ofsted published a report last month that provided a clear indication of the progress made by the council since 2008 in protecting vulnerable children and young people.

In his letter, Mr Loughton said he was pleased that “significant improvements have been made in a range of core safeguarding services”, adding “council members and officers should be proud of the progress made to date”.

Peter Martin, the council’s cabinet member for children and learning, said: “We have made steady and sustained progress since 2008, and our dedicated staff deserve praise for the big part they have played in making the improvements necessary for this vote of confidence from the minister.

“This clean bill of health shows that the government believes we are successfully providing the people most in need with the care and support they require and we will continue to do all we can to show that the minister’s trust is well placed.

“We know more still needs to be done and our determination to bring further improvements remains as great as ever. Our job is to do everything we possibly can to minimise the risks to children.”

The council received an improvement notice in 2008 following a poor joint area review of services provided to children and young people in Surrey by all public agencies in the county.

On 18 October this year, Ofsted published a report of services provided by Surrey County Council and other public sector organisations to vulnerable and looked-after children. It showed services were improving, with Surrey receiving an “adequate” rating.