Ofsted has judged that Islington Council’s children’s social care services are “outstanding” and praises an “unwavering commitment to improving and enriching the lives of children and their families”.

The report, published today (Wednesday, April 15th) and undertaken in early March, highlights “sustained investment in early help and universal services” meaning that families “can access high-quality help when needs first arise”.

Islington is home to thousands of children who deserve the best possible start in life. Islington Council is determined to ensure all of the borough’s children get a fair chance.

The national children’s care inspector praises the hard work and dedication of council staff, from care workers to leaders, who have taken the service from ‘good’ overall to ‘outstanding’ in just three years.

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, said: “This is a significant achievement and testament to the hard work and determination of staff at every level and wider safeguarding partners.

“Senior leaders and those on the frontline in Islington clearly demonstrate an unwavering commitment to improving and enriching the lives of children and their families.”

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Islington’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “I am over the moon about the outcome of the inspection. Keeping children and young people safe and getting families the help they need quickly, so they can flourish, is what motivates all of us involved with children’s services in Islington and this shone through the inspection.

“Islington’s administration has protected funding for children’s services despite years of Government cuts and remains committed to funding children’s social care so that this vital work can continue.”

Carmel Littleton, Islington Council’s Corporate Director, People, said: “Each day, our dedicated staff work hard to make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families. I’d like to thank them all for the great pride they take in their work.

“We will never be complacent and there are areas we want to improve even further, and we will use today’s report to help make sure our services work even more effectively to protect children and young people, and give support to families and carers.”

An Ofsted team visited the service in early March (shortly before the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK led to a temporary suspension of all routine Ofsted inspections). The report’s findings include:

  • Children and families in Islington benefit from well-established and appropriately targeted early help services
  • Prompt and effective action is taken to safeguard and protect children who are at immediate risk of harm
  • Allegations against adults who work or volunteer with children are taken seriously and responded to swiftly
  • Disabled children and their families receive timely responses that take into account parental support and the child’s needs
  • Children and young people at risk of sexual and criminal exploitation and gang involvement receive a highly effective response
  • Services for children in care and care leavers continue to be good and are improving
  • Corporate and political leaders demonstrate a strong and sustained commitment to improving the lives of children, young people and their families in Islington
  • Sustained investment in early help and universal services means that families can access high-quality help when needs first arise
  • Significant investment in children’s services means that social workers have manageable caseloads

The Ofsted report can be read in full on the Ofsted website