Bromley’s children’s services have been judged “good” with “outstanding’ leadership by education watchdog Ofsted, having been deemed inadequate only two years ago.
An inspection conducted in the last weeks of November concluded that “a new and highly experienced leadership team” has “driven a rapid and sustained pace of improvement, supported by a whole-council investment in children’s services”.
A previous Ofsted inspection in spring 2016 had graded the borough’s children’s services “inadequate” across the board, prompting the Department for Education to commission an independent report on how to turn the situation round.
A new deputy chief executive, Ade Adetosoye, was appointed by Bromley in September 2016 and also made executive director of education, care and health, having previously held a similar post at the City of London Corporation. In the video below, from May 2018, he talks about the borough’s progress at that stage.
The new Ofsted report commends “the vision, commitment and determination of senior leaders,” saying that “effective action has been taken concurrently across all areas of service” with “an unwavering focus on continuous improvement”. It added that a newly “outward-facing organisation” inspires its staff in “making a profound difference to improving the lives of children in Bromley”.
The “outstanding” rating given for the impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families was accompanied by grades of “good” for the experiences and progress of children who need care and protection and for those in care or who have left care. “Overall effectiveness” of the social care services was also judged to be good.
The councils executive member for children and families, Councillor Peter Fortune, said he was “extremely proud” of the achievement and praised the leadership of Adetosoye, who became the borough’s interim chief executive last month.
Among those congratulating Bromley is Ian Thomas, chief executive designate of Kingston upon Thames, who was recently awarded a CBE for his work in local government and children’s services following his success in transforming children’s in Rotherham.