Children’s services win praise in Ofsted report

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SHEFFIELD is providing good services for its children and young people, an annual round-up of Ofsted assessments has found.

In other local authority areas performance ratings have gone down, but Sheffield has maintained its position and is on track to improve further.

Sheffield went up from performing ‘adequately’ to ‘well’ last year and has maintained that status this year.

Inspectors praised the council’s 10 special schools, which are now ‘outstanding’, as well as two special school sixth forms.

All pupil referral units remain ‘good’ or better and the vast majority of children’s centres were ‘good’.

Inspectors said nursery and primary provision for children under the age of five also remained ‘good’ and in some cases had improved.

They also praised quality of secondary schools - which overall had improved well. In 2010 this was identified as an area for development.

The council’s support to schools had ‘significantly’ improved, said inspectors, while private and voluntary children’s homes were praised.

Areas for improvement included raising education standards for 11-year-olds, which are still below national averages.

Inspectors also said more provision should be made for post-16 education which, although making reasonable progress, could be better.

Cabinet member for children and young people Coun Jackie Drayton said: “There is some excellent work being done by Sheffield’s children’s services and I am glad it is being recognised nationally.”

She added: “There is still room to improve and we will of course be aiming to not only keep maintaining our position but also to hopefully improve on it too. Our challenge now is to provide an even higher level of service for all children and young people in the city.”

n Visit www.ofsted.gov.uk to find full report.