Monday, 14 November 2011

Children’s Services in Reading ‘Peforming Well’

Recently, both the Tories and Lib Dems in Reading have been writing letters to the local press rubbishing the Council’s Children’s Services Department, so it was very pleasing get the official news that: Children and young people in Reading are continuing to benefit from good Council services, according to the latest Ofsted judgement announced today (Tue Nov 8). 

Ofsted has published the results of its latest inspections into children services in Reading, which includes the performance of nurseries, schools and sixth forms, as well as the vital area of child protection. Government inspectors concluded that Reading Borough Council performs well and improvements have been built on from last year.

The Ofsted letter to Reading Borough Council notes: ‘Children’s Services in Reading Borough Council perform well. This good performance has been sustained from 2010 to 2011.’

It goes on to say: ‘The large majority of services, settings and institutions inspected by Ofsted are good or better and provision helps children and young people stay safe and learn well.’

Particular highlights include:

  • The majority of childminding and childcare provision is good or better and has improved since 2010
  • The majority of nurseries and primary schools are good, with some is outstanding. There is a good development in this area by children from low-income families
  • Five out of seven secondary schools are good or better, as are five of the seven sixth forms in the borough, with a clear trend of improvement
  • The gap between young people from low income families and the majority of 16 year olds in Reading is closing
  • Persistent absence from school is below average and the proportion of children staying in education and training at the age of 17 is above average
  • All special schools are good or better and the special school sixth form is outstanding
  • Reading’s adoption service is good

Ofsted also highlighted some areas for development which include continuing to drive through improvements in primary schools across the borough, closing attainment gaps and reducing high rates of re-referral and the timeliness of assessments for children in need. Reading Borough Council has taken all Ofsted comments on board.

John Ennis, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Education and Children’s Services, said: ‘I’m pleased that Ofsted have recognised the continuing improvements made across all areas of children’s services in the town. Standards in our schools are improving and we are continuing to perform well in key areas like child protection and adoption. There are still important areas of work we need to improve on however. The challenge of doing our very best by every child in Reading is a vital one. We are determined to do all we can to achieve that.’

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