Ofsted report and improvement journey

What we've been progressing since our last inspection.

Ofsted inspection 2019

We are on an improvement journey to ensure we give our children, young people and their families the support and level of service they deserve.

Our last Ofsted inspection took place in February 2019. The report stated a significant number of improvements which need to take place across children’s services in West Sussex. Following this inspection West Sussex County Council received a statutory direction from the Department for Education (DfE) to place its services for children and families into a separate children's trust.

View the 2019 Ofsted report(external link)

Ofsted visit 2020

Ofsted returned in October 2020 to complete a 'focused visit' which highlighted that the foundations of our improvement work are in place. It also re-affirmed that we know our service well and understand those areas where we need to improve and focus our attention.

View the Ofsted report from our focused visit (October 2020) (external link)

Our improvement journey

A significant number of improvements have been made over the past year, which include:

  • the appointment of a permanent department leadership team
  • evidence of strong relationships with children and young people
  • improved supervision and management oversight across the department
  • robust plans to deliver improvements, including plans to implement a family safeguarding model – making positive changes which are beneficial and lasting for both children and families
  • progress against our inspection recommendations (against the backdrop of the global pandemic)

Our improvement journey is supported by John Coughlan, our Department for Education appointed Commissioner, and Hampshire County Council as our partner in practice.

In October 2020 our Commissioner identified that conditions of services were improving and were creating positive ways for our service to progress. Following on from the Commissioner's report, the DfE has agreed to let West Sussex keep control of its children's services, with a review due at the end of 2021.

We are currently working to accelerate the pace of our improvement work. We still have lots to do and believe we can make the changes so that West Sussex becomes an outstanding service for our children and young people.

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