The fundamental duty of Bury Council is to protect children who need help and protection. This is a sacred responsibility to ensure those children who are vulnerable and at risk have the help and support they need.
Bury Council are failing in this core duty and it is shameful.
I have today been briefed by the Chief Executive of Bury Council on an Inspection of Bury local authority children’s services carried out by OFSTED. The conclusions are both clear and appalling. A link to the report is attached to this post and I urge all my constituents to read it.
On page 8, of the report referring to the impact on social work practice with children and families reads, “ During the last year, the changes in senior leadership in children’s services have led to turmoil, instability and drift at a strategic and operational level. As a consequence, there has been insufficient focus on children’s experiences, and the quality of frontline practice has deteriorated since the last OFSTED focused visit in 2020.”
On page 4 it reads, “ Some disabled children have experienced significant drift and delay in having their help for help and protection met.” I truly hope the Council will move to establish an SEN Hub, something I have been calling for over many months.
On page 2 when discussing the experiences of children who need help and protection it states, “ As a result some children are at risk of further harm before more purposeful action is taken to protect them.”
I have already contacted the relevant Minister and asked for a minimum of weekly updates on the actions being taken to improve these serious matters and will do everything I can to ensure our children are receiving the care and protection they need.
The report is damning on the corporate leadership of Bury Council during this period and having been briefed I have no confidence they are able to put in place the changes needed. The new Director of Children’s Services needs to be supported by those who have the skill set to meet these challenges and in my view immediate steps must be taken to remove those who have clearly been negligent in their responsibilities and appoint professionals who can remedy these shameful failures immediately.
Full report available here: https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50174207