A government minister has ordered a special taskforce into County Hall to sort out the council’s shambolic children’s department.
A written directive issued by Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan states that she has ‘carefully considered’ Ofsted’s damning inspection of the department and is ‘satisfied that the authority is failing to perform to an adequate standard’.
She considers it ‘expedient’ to send in a specialist ‘Children’s Social Care Adviser’ to help raise standards at Bucks County Council, which was found to be putting vulnerable children at risk of harm.
She demands that the authority co-operates with the taskforce and ‘shall address and remedy, without delay, each of the points or areas outlined in the Ofsted inspection report as priority and immediate actions’.
The directive says the Children’s Social Care Adviser ‘will take the following steps to challenge and support the uthority in the improvement of their children’s social care functions and will report to the Minister for Children and Families at quarterly intervals’.
These steps are:
1) Examine the causal factors in respect of child protection which led to the findings of the Ofsted report of 8 August 2014;
2) Assess the quality of the Authority’s improvement plans;
3) Review the Authority’s leadership capability and capacity to drive forward the changes to achieve adequate performance by the Authority of their children’s social care functions; and
4) Oversee all improvements necessary to achieve adequate performance by the Authority of their children’s social care functions.