Staff who defied cuts to satisfy Ofsted inspectors win praise from council chiefs

Barnsley’s council leader has paid tribute to the staff who have helped secure an Ofsted ‘good’ rating for the authorities children’s services department in the face of severe Government imposed austerity cuts.

Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 18:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 17:06 pm
Praise: Barnsley Council's Diana Terris

The department has been ranked as ‘good’ across all four categories scored by Ofsted inspectors, an unusually strong performance when compared to most authorities.

Sir Steve Houghton told members of the council’s ruling Cabinet: “It is a terrific result, the council is massively under pressure with cuts which are disproportionately against us, but our staff are still providing good services.

“That is a remarkable achievement.”

Chief Executive Diana Terris said the achievement involved “a huge amount of work”.

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“It is huge, it is hard for a report like this to set out the detail of the level of improvement which has taken place here. The leadership has been outstanding. There is a lot of outstanding practice and we are proud of that,” she said.

Research by the Centre for Cities organisation published last week ranked Barnsley as the worst affected local authority nationally to be affected by Government spending cuts since the coalition and then Conservative Governments took power.

During that period the local authority workforce has been reduced by 40 per cent.