Another step forward for Birmingham children's services

Published: Monday, 22nd July 2019

The Department for Education has said that a commissioner for Birmingham’s children services is no longer required.

The department has issued a revised statutory direction to Birmingham City Council confirming that ‘the secretary of state intends to withdraw the children’s services commissioner’.

It follows the Ofsted inspection report in January this year which judged children’s social care services in Birmingham as ‘requires improvements to be good’ – the first time in more than a decade that they have not been judged inadequate.

Cllr Kate Booth, cabinet member for children’s wellbeing at Birmingham City Council, said: “I’m really delighted with the progress made in children social care services; we are on a positive upward trajectory and this has been confirmed. We are of course not complacent and efforts continue in earnest to further improve children's social care as there is still a lot more to do before our services are providing good outcomes for all of our children.

“The fact that a commissioner is no longer deemed necessary is a significant step in the improvement journey, which is ultimately about ensuring all our children get the best possible start in life. Well done to everyone involved; you are working really hard so the children and families of Birmingham get the help and support they need.”

Andrew Christie, chair of Birmingham Children’s Trust, said: “Birmingham Children’s Trust came into being in April 2018, and since then we have seen children’s services come out of being judged by Ofsted ‘inadequate’ to now ‘requiring improvement to be good’. The publication of the revised statutory direction for Birmingham City Council’s children’s services, which highlights for the first time since 2014 that Birmingham no longer requires a commissioner, is another positive step towards the sustained improvement journey that is taking place. We will continue to support the development of some of the city’s most vulnerable children, young people and families.”

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