Inspectors praise Bedford council's Children's Services staff in glowing report

Ofsted said "children are important to the people in charge"

By Clare Turner
Friday, 14th January 2022, 10:40 am

The council’s Children’s Services has been rated ‘good’ in all areas by Ofsted following an inspection in November 2021.

In the report, published today (Friday), inspectors commented that “senior leaders have worked relentlessly to address the recommendations from the last full inspection in 2017. They have built on the strengths identified at that time, and services are now of a good standard.”

Inspectors noted the added challenges from the pandemic saying that “Covid-19 has placed huge pressures on children and families in Bedford borough. Many staff in the local authority have been personally affected by the virus. Despite this, services have adapted well to significant changes in demand through the past 20 months.”

Bedford Borough Council

The report added: “Children’s views are listened to, supported and acted on. Children, including those with disabilities, attend meetings about themselves, and are supported to contribute meaningfully.”

Cllr James Valentine, portfolio holder for children’s services and education, said: “I am delighted with the rating from Ofsted today. Congratulations to all Children’s Services staff, this is thoroughly deserved. In Bedford borough we continue to put children first and this is not end of the journey, Bedford Borough Council will continue to be ambitious in our approach to meeting the needs of children and young people.”

Inspectors also said that: “Leaders have created a positive, relationship-based culture which they model in their relationships with staff, who in turn adopt a respectful, courteous approach in their work with families. Leaders are visible and approachable.”

Martin Purbrick, interim director of Children’s Services said: “We have worked incredibly hard to make improvements and get to where we are today. I am very proud of everyone who has played their part, it was a real team effort. Thank you. We will enjoy this moment but know there is more to be done and we are committed to improving experiences for children and families in Bedford borough.”