Councillors on Wirral Council’s Audit Committee approve changes to Annual Governance Statement after critical OFSTED report
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Wirral Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee meeting held on the 26th September 2016 | The item on the Annual Governance Statement starts at 41m:22
Councillors at a meeting of Wirral Council’s Audit and Risk Management Committee on Monday finally voted to approve an amendment to the Annual Governance Statement for 2015-16 relating to the recent OFSTED report.
Councillors talked about the Annual Governance Statement and amendment to it for fifty-six minutes, followed by an adjournment for twenty-one minutes (so the spokespersons and Vice-Chair could reach agreement on it in the Library), followed by a further eight minutes before it was finally voted on.
This is what was in the amendment:
Given the significance of the issues highlighted the following amendment are [sic] to be made to the Annual Governance Statement:-
Section 6 : Significant Governance Issues
The Council received a report from Ofsted on 20 September 2016 which rated Children’s Services in Wirral as inadequate. The report highlighted ‘serious and widespread failures’ in the delivery of services to children who need help and protection in Wirral; focusing on frequent changes in social workers, issues in how partners work together, and evidence of poor records management across a range of areas.
The Ofsted findings have been accepted and the response will deliver major and sustained improvements which are carefully planned and considered.
An Improvement Board has been established and will initially be led by the Chief Executive until the appointment of an Independent Chair. The Improvement Plan has to be agreed with the Department for Education before 30 December 2016. A Department for Education adviser will assist the Council and Ofsted will return quarterly to review progress.
|Description of Governance Issue||Responsibility / Lead Officer||Expected Delivery|
|Ofsted highlighted serious and widespread failures in the delivery of services to children who need help and protection in Wirral; focusing on frequent changes in social workers, issues in how partners work together, and evidence of poor records management across a range of areas.
Improvement Board established to lead the process including identification and delivery of an Improvement Plan.
|Improvement Board / Julia Hassall (Director of Children’s Services)||Improvement plan before 30 December 2016|
Later in the same meeting councillors heard from Wirral Council’s external auditor Grant Thornton that because of the OFSTED report, their value for money opinion for 2015/16 would be qualified.
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