Government recognises Essex improvements for young people

IMPROVEMENTS to Essex County Council’s children’s services department have been recognised by the Government.

The authority is no longer being monitored by the Department of Education – three years on from the introduction of special measures following the assessment that its social care for children was inadequate.

Minister for children and families, Tim Loughton, congratulated the council on the progress it had made, acknowledging that it was in a good position to build on a really strong service.

County councillor for Stansted, Ray Gooding, who is also the cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Again we have been able to evidence to Government the progress we are making with Essex children’s services and demonstrate that we are completely committed to driving up standards.

“To be completely free from any monitoring is extremely positive and should fill residents with confidence that we are doing everything possible to deliver excellent, quality services to the children and families in Essex.”

Dave Hill, executive director for schools, children and families added: “This is an excellent achievement for those involved with Essex children’s services.

“The hard work, dedication and commitment of all staff should not go unnoticed and I would like to thank them all for their continued sustained efforts to improve.”

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In particular Essex was praised for the progress made in reducing re-referrals in children’s social care and for improvements in the quality of assessments and case work.

Progress on implementing the health agenda was noted, with Essex on target to increase the number of health visitors and school nurses.

The removal of the monitoring arrangements signals the end of any further Government intervention for Essex County Council’s children’s services.