Hillingdon Council's Children's Services judged 'Outstanding' by Ofsted
Monday 20 November 2023: Hillingdon Council's Children's Services has been judged as one of the best in England, following an 'Outstanding' Ofsted report released on Monday 20 November 2023.
Ofsted inspectors visiting Hillingdon from Monday 2 to Friday 6 October praised council staff for being an "excellent champion for children, families and young people" and reported that "children in the London Borough of Hillingdon continue to receive a highly effective service."
The glowing report recognised the increased demand for services in the borough but commended the council's leadership for strengthening and improving practices, "highlighting areas of innovation that stand out as exceptional practice, improving children's experiences and progress."
In addition to a stable and experienced senior leadership team, social workers were commended for their dedication to improving children's lives. The report said "social workers are skilled, experienced and ambitious for children, who they know well and visit regularly. Social workers are committed to children and are proud of their roles in their lives, talking with warmth and knowledge about them."
Inspectors praised effective leadership from the council's chief executive, Tony Zaman, who spent eight years as its Director of Children's Services, recognising that his knowledge, experience and solid relationships with partners had benefited children and families at a strategic level.
Partnership working is strong in Hillingdon, and the report acknowledges that services improve outcomes for children by listening to feedback from partners, families and different communities to drive innovative transformation.
Since its last Ofsted report in 2018, the council has introduced an innovative Stronger Families hub which offers locality-based early help and out of hours support to children and families and launched an awarding-winning Adolescent Service and response to contextual safeguarding.
The report lists many strengths including collaborative multi-agency working and the progress of children in care, but also recommends some minor areas of improvement for services for care leavers and for 16 and 17-year-olds who present as homeless.
Councillor Susan O'Brien, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education 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."