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Ofsted report statement

Children and families

21 March 2023

The latest inspection carried out by Ofsted has been published and has found the overall experiences and progress of children and young people in Northamptonshire’s Fostering Service to be ‘Inadequate’.

The report, which was published today, can be found on the Ofsted website.

We are not at all happy with what this Ofsted inspection has found. Although we both acknowledge that improvements have been made at the Children’s Trust, as shown by the recent overall ILACS inspection which upgraded the whole Children’s Service from a rating of ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Requires Improvement’, we believe that any organisation is only as strong as its weakest link, and at the moment that appears to be the Fostering Service. There is clearly much work needed to improve this service, and we have immediately arranged an urgent meeting with the Trust’s senior leaders and Chair to understand more about what is being done to address the issues identified in the Ofsted report.

Both North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council are committed to work with the Trust to help improve the situation. Given how vital supporting our children in foster care is, and how hard the foster carers work, it is our view that the Trust’s Senior leaders and Chair needs to act urgently to rectify and deal with the findings of this report.

We both cannot make any less a commitment to our vulnerable children than to work tirelessly with the Children’s Trust, otherwise we will continue to let down the young people in foster care, so we’re looking to the Trust’s Senior leaders and Chair to work openly and collaboratively with us to turn this service around as quickly as possible. Nothing short of that is acceptable.
Joint statement - Councillor Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire, and Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council

Both councils, the Trust and the DFE will work together to continue delivering service improvements, including quick action on the issues identified in the inspection report, to create a service which protects children and supports our incredible foster carers.