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Leadership and management of Merton's children's services rated 'Outstanding'

Ofsted L&MMerton’s children's services has achieved one of the highest Ofsted inspection ratings making Merton one of the top performing children’s services in London and England. The inspectorate rated children’s services as ‘Good’ overall with some aspects, including ‘Leadership and Management’, rated as ‘Outstanding’.

In the Report of the Ofsted Inspection of Merton Council children’s services, (August 2017) Ofsted highlights:

A ‘constructive, enquiring and engaging style of leadership and management’: “The Director of Children’s Services…provides a sustained and energetic commitment to continually improving outcomes for children…The quality of all services is good or better, building on the “good” judgements (from the 2012 inspection)…The leadership style emphasises the core values of compassion, humility, social justice and inclusion… An influential corporate parenting board chaired by the longstanding and experienced Chief Executive illustrates the importance given at the highest level”.

“[All senior managers] maintain a high level of interest, curiosity and knowledge about children’s cases.”

Strong partnerships: “The strong professional partnerships in Merton demonstrate that children and their families are highly valued and that they deserve high-quality services.”

Effective recruitment, retention and professional development: “Senior managers are resolute in their commitment to recruit able and committed social workers, who continue to provide high-quality services to the most vulnerable children and families…Well-defined career progression pathways encourage committed and talented social workers to progress and flourish.”

A practice model which promotes continuous improvement: “Merton’s social work practice model is at the centre of the continuous development of effective and evidence-based social work with children and families…[assisting] social workers in their analysis, manageable caseloads, frequent supervision, reflective auditing and mature partnerships...[leading to] a strong culture of learning and a determination to improve further on outcomes that are already good.”

High-quality data and performance information” which informs strategic and operational processes: “High-quality data and performance information are used well at all strategic and operational groups and across all management layers. The performance and quality assurance frameworks are closely interwoven and provide a wide range of useful information.”      

A good level of user participation and influence: “Young people are both involved and highly influential.”

For a copy of the full report see: Report of the Ofsted Inspection of Merton Council children’s services, (August 2017)

See also the following main article on Ofsted’s inspection:

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The next edition will be published in November 2017