Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 2nd November 2006
Title of Item/Report
Annual Performance Assessment of Services for Children and Young People - report to follow 1.11.06
Record of the Decision
Cabinet was informed that the Annual Performance Assessment of services for children and young people in Stockton on Tees Borough Council had been carried out by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) in conjunction with the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI). It was based on a self-assessment by the authority in combination with performance and inspection information in the year 2005-06. The results were formally announced on 1st November and the notification letter from OFSTED was provided to Members.

It was explained that there were three parts to the scoring; for the local authority's children's services, its capacity to improve its services and for the local authority's social care services for children and young people.

The scores awarded were:

The contribution of local authority's children's services in maintaining and improving outcomes for children and young people- 4
The council's overall capacity to improve its services for children and young people-4
The contribution of the local authority's social care services to maintaining and improving outcomes for children and young people-3

Grade 4 represented a service that delivered well above minimum requirements for users and is deemed to be excellent/outstanding. This was the top grade.

Grade 3 represented a service that consistently delivered above minimum requirements for users and was deemed to be good.

These scores would form part of the Comprehensive Performance Assessment and represented a significant improvement from the previous year when the scores were: -

The local authority's children's services-3
The local authority's education services-3 (subsequently not separately graded)
The local authority's social care services for children and young people-2
The council's capacity to improve its services for children and young people-3

The notification letter commented in detail on each of the five "Every Child Matters" Outcomes, identified key strengths and recommended key areas for improvement. The areas for improvement were all areas which the authority had identified already and had either tied into this year's planning process or would be developed in next year's.

In 2007, there would be further significant inspections of the Council's services.

The authority had received notification of the Audit Commission's intention to conduct a Corporate Assessment of the Council's overall performance in December 2007. Linked to this there would be, at the same time, a Joint Area Review of our Children's Services.

The two inspections would make a significant call on member and senior officer time, but nevertheless could be welcomed by the Council as an opportunity to test its progress against the new tougher inspection standards.

The process would involve a large team of inspectors on site over two weeks from 3 December 2007.

A further Cabinet report would set out detailed preparation plans.

Cabinet agreed that the results highlighted the excellent work carried out by Officers. Members congratulated the Corporate Director and all staff within the Children, Education and Social Care Service.


RESOLVED that


1. the outcome of the Annual Performance Assessment be received and noted

2. the Comprehensive Performance Assessment and Joint Area Reviews be noted and further reports be submitted, on the planning for these events.
Reasons for the Decision
The Annual Performance Assessment must be reported to Cabinet and be in the public arena.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Not Applicable
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
None
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By no later than Midnight Friday 10th November 2006
Attachment

Date of Publication: 08 November 2006


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