Improving Children’s Social Care Services in response to Ofsted

Why do we need to improve services?

The Council is taking action to improve services following an inspection by Ofsted in September 2018. Ofsted is the external government organisation that inspects services for children to make sure they are working.

What did Ofsted find?

Ofsted found that the services we deliver to protect the most vulnerable children were not meeting the high standards our children deserve. We are extremely disappointed that these services are not as good as we want them to be. We fully accept Ofsted’s findings.

The inspection looked at three areas and found the following:

  • The impact of leaders on social work practice with children and families. This area requires improvement to be good.
  • The experiences and progress of children who need help and protection. This area was found to be inadequate.
  • The experiences and progress of children in care and care leavers. This area requires improvement to be good.

Because of the Inadequate judgement in the area of children who need help and protection, the overall judgement was Inadequate.

The Council is now taking urgent action to work with the government to deliver quick and sustained improvements.

Key to making improvements is to make sure that children and families are at the heart of the changes we make and we want to listen to their views.

Our Vision

Our children and young people are the future of Bradford. We are privileged to be the UK’s youngest city, and want our 150,000 children and young people to be the driving force behind everything we do. We are committed to developing a Family Friendly City and an environment where all our children and young people can fulfil their potential, have high aspirations for themselves and their neighbourhoods and become adults who help to drive the prosperity of our district. The precondition for this is ensuring that every child, young person and family is safe and healthy.

What are our next steps?

The Improvement Board continues to meet on a six weekly basis.  This is a group of people who meet to oversee the improvements.  It is chaired by an independent person to provide added scrutiny, and reports to the Council’s Executive.

Areas of progress, areas of concern and areas of action to be progressed in the next period are set out in the Improvement Board Highlight Report.  More detail can be found in the Improvement Action Plan.

For more information about the improvement programme, visit our Stay Connected page and sign up to receive our regular Improvement Update email bulletins.

Bradford Children's Improvement Plan

Our improvement plan for Children’s Services is published below. The plan was revised in November 2021 to make it more outcome focused and more streamlined so we can quickly accelerate the improvement Ofsted require in key areas and make sure that we see better outcomes for children and young people.

This means the plan is clearer and more targeted with a focus on what we want to deliver next.  The plan sets out seven outcomes that we aim to evidence progress over the next 3 to 6 months. 

We want to thank the many children and young people, staff and partners who have provided feedback and helped to shape the plan. We have also looked closely at what our data tells us, listened to the views of Ofsted and the Department for Education and identified where we need to drive forward change to rapidly improve outcomes for children and young people.

This is an action plan for the District and, like the original Improvement Plan, will need to be shared and owned across the Council and partners if it is to be truly successful. Critically, the success of many of these outcomes is reliant on the active involvement, commitment and support, including resources, from partner agencies.  We need partners to be with us on our improvement journey and see it as part of the District’s journey.

We want all children and young people in Bradford to have the best chances to thrive and be successful, and wherever possible to be with their families.  Where children and young people are looked after by the Council, we want to be great parents to our children.  We want to make sure they have supportive and nurturing experiences and help when they need it most.

Improvement Board highlight report

Improvement updates

Reports to Council Executive

Minutes of Improvement Board meetings