Hillingdon Council’s Children’s Services has received an ‘Outstanding’ rating in a recent Ofsted report released on Monday, November 20.
Inspectors visiting the borough from October 2 to October 6 commended the council staff as “excellent champions for children, families, and young people.” The report acknowledged the increased demand for services in the area but praised the council’s leadership for strengthening and improving practices, particularly highlighting areas of innovation.
The report recognised the dedication of social workers in improving children’s lives, describing them as skilled, experienced, and ambitious for the children they serve. The stability and experience of the senior leadership team were also noted. Tony Zaman, the council’s chief executive, received praise for his effective leadership and solid relationships with partners, drawing on his eight years as the Director of Children’s Services.
Partnership working in Hillingdon was highlighted as strong, with the report acknowledging that services have improved outcomes for children through feedback from partners, families, and various communities.
Since the last Ofsted report in 2018, the council has introduced the Stronger Families hub, providing early help and out-of-hours support to children and families. Additionally, the Adolescent Service and response to contextual safeguarding have been recognised with awards.
While the report lists numerous strengths, including collaborative multi-agency working and progress for children in care, it also recommends minor improvements for services for care leavers and for 16 and 17-year-olds who present as homeless.
Councillor Susan O’Brien, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Hillingdon Council said: “We are thrilled to achieve such a remarkable Ofsted rating for our Children’s Services, and I’d like to thank all our staff and partners who continue to strive to improve outcomes for children and young people in Hillingdon.
“Despite increasing demands on council services, we have introduced new ways of working to strengthen our offer to families and will continue to successfully work together with our partners to enhance the lives of children and young people across the borough.”