Services to support children and families in Tameside are to receive additional funding of nearly £1 million.
Tameside Council has agreed to commit the additional budget over the next two years to help provide more capacity in response to the findings of an Ofsted inspection, which recognised good work taking place in the service, but also highlighted areas of improvement.
The focused visit to Tameside children’s services was carried out in May 2021 as part of Ofsted’s wider investigation into how England’s social care system has delivered child-centred practice and care within the context of Covid restrictions placed on society.
The inspectors found many examples of good practice and clear and responsive decision making as part of the service’s ongoing improvement plan. They also found that leaders were open to feedback and learning during the visit.
However, they also pinpointed areas for further improvement while acknowledging Tameside has had consistently higher-than-average rates of Covid-19 and lengthy periods of local and national restrictions throughout the pandemic 'that have created significant challenges for senior leaders.'
Councillor Bill Fairfoull, Tameside Council Executive Member for children and families, said: “I’m pleased to see Ofsted recognised our positive progress and good work with children and families, as part of our ongoing children’s services’ improvement plan and policy of investment in Early Help.
“However their visit also highlighted a number of issues that are negatively impacting on improving outcomes for children and - whilst these were largely already recognised and reported in our self-assessment - we want the pace of progress to increase.
“We’re determined to accelerate our improvement work to further stabilise and improve the service and I’m pleased we have been able to commit significant additional funding to prioritise and provide the capacity for this.
“I look forward to seeing further positive impacts on children and families and thank everyone involved in this work.”
Commenting on the news, Ashton Hurst councillor Dan Costello said: “Very pleased to see this and looking forward in my role shadowing the children and families brief to helping to put in place a robust and credible plan for improvement to go alongside this welcome funding.”