Appendix 2 � Progress in Implementing Recommendations from

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					  Appendix 2 – Progress in Implementing Recommendations
       from Ofsted and Social Services Inspectorate


This Appendix sets out the Council’s progress over the past three years in implementing
improvement measures to deliver local and national priorities, as recommended by the Office
for Standards in Education (Ofsted) and the Social Services Inspectorate (SSI). The areas
inspected by Ofsted and SSI over the last three years are:


                     2003/04                   2002/03                   2001/02
                                       Local Education
                                       Authority
 Ofsted
                                       Youth Service

             Children’s Services       Social Care Services -    Mental Health Services
                                       Older People              (and follow-up in August
 SSI
                                                                 2002)
                Ofsted Inspections 1 April 2001 – 31 March 2004


Local Education Authority, 2003

Introduction

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council was inspected by Ofsted in January 2003. The inspection
report was published in April 2003, the responding Ofsted action plan was submitted in
September 2003, and a letter of praise was received from the Minister for Schools in regard to
the action plan in November 2003.

The inspection focussed on 52 judgements of the effectiveness of the LEA’s work. The
inspection concluded that the Council was “highly satisfactory”, receiving a grade 3 on a scale
of 1 – 7. The inspection report highlighted that many functions are discharged very well. It
gave grade 2 “good” scores in thirteen areas work. Four areas of work were found to require
further improvement, although none of them was categorised as poor or very poor. The four
areas for improvement were:

       Support to schools in raising standards for ethnic minority and traveller children,
        including the effective deployment of ethnic minority and traveller achievement grants.

       Support to schools for gifted and talented pupils.

       The extent to which statutory requirements are met and achievement of value for
        money in relation to behaviour at school.
       The effectiveness in combating racism.

Impact of improvement measures implemented

Following the approval of the Ofsted action plan, a wide range of strategies have been
implemented to ensure improvement in the areas for development. The plan is monitored on
an annual basis and the full monitoring arrangements will conclude in July 2004. The plan’s
overall life span is 3 years with items concluding in 2007.

To date, significant improvements have been made in the following areas:

       All schools have produced a policy in relation to Race Equality.

       Further guidance has been issued to schools about achieving the CRE standards in
        Race Equality.

       Attached adviser visits now include the monitoring of ethnic minority pupils progress.

       Thorough data analysis has been undertaken on an individual child basis of all ethnic
        minority children’s achievement.

       Service level agreement for the provision of a traveller service with Essex County
        Council has been redrafted.

       The senior adviser with responsibility for monitoring the achievement of ethnic
        minority children and challenging schools on equality and diversity has been
        appointed.
       Additional funding has been obtained from the Connexions service to support a gifted
        and talented project.

       Gifted and talented strategy has been agreed.

       The DfES has approved the establishment of the Excellence Cluster, one of whose
        four principal roles will be the development of gifted and talented pupils.

       A further sports partnership has been approved by Sport England, thus gaining over
        £3million over three years to develop sporting skills in the Borough.

       The role of the Behaviour Support Service has been reviewed and strengthened, a
        senior manager has been appointed to coordinate the overall impact of the Behaviour
        Support Service, the Home Tuition Service and the Pupil Referral Unit.

       The Educational Psychology Service is now aligned in relation to the needs of
        schools, as is the Education Welfare Service.

The Council is one of a national pilot undertaking work on developing behaviour skills. The
Council along with the Race Equality Council has agreed a strategy, a policy and an action
plan in relation to improving equality and diversity. The Council has a member of staff on the
steering committee of the new race forum.

Further plans for improvement

Further service improvements are set out in the Education and Lifelong Learning
Departmental Delivery Plan, which includes not only improvements in relation to the Ofsted
recommendations, but also work in relation to the development of the new Children’s
Department as required by recent statute. The Departmental Delivery Plan is available form
the Councils website at www.southend.gov.uk

Youth Service, 2002

Introduction

Southend Youth Service (now Southend Youth & Connexions Service) was inspected by
Ofsted during May and June 2002. The inspection focused on four themes; access and
participation, achievement and standards, the quality of education provided and leadership
and management.

The inspection involved observation of thirty-five youth work sessions, discussion with key
stakeholders and an examination of documentary and statistical evidence. The inspection
concluded that the service is well targeted, and successful at reaching young people who are
socially excluded with high quality resources and good leadership. The inspection also
identified some areas for action, including developing the skills of Youth Workers and
enhancing staff training and support.

Impact of improvement measures implemented

Following the publication of the inspection report in autumn 2002, a detailed one-year action
plan was drawn up addressing key areas of improvement. This action plan was monitored by
Government Office and the Council received a positive six month interim assessment of our
progress and a satisfactory end to the action plan in the autumn of 2003.

Delivering the action plan resulted in the following improvements to the service:

       Programme planning and delivery more focused on learning outcomes.
      Improved curriculum implementation.

      Increased participation levels.

      Improved assess to information and advice.

      Young people more active in direction of Service and individual programmes.

      Adequate supervision arrangement in place.

      Staff development more information by curriculum and staff needs.

      Significantly improved voluntary sector relationship.

      Increased awareness of programme cost in planning and review.

Further plans for improvement

      Further service improvements are set out in the Education and Lifelong Learning
       Departmental Delivery Plan. This includes improvements in areas that Ofsted
       identified as opportunities which the Council could explore further, e.g. Council
       support for the voluntary sector and work with schools. The Departmental Delivery
       Plan is available from the Council’s website at www.southend.gov.uk
                  SSI Inspections 1 April 2001 – 31 March 2004


Services for Older People, 2003

Introduction

SSI undertook an inspection of Council’s services for older people in April 2003. This
inspection was one of 21 inspections taking place nationally during the year. The purpose of
the inspection was to evaluate the way in which Social Services work with partner agencies
and deliver services to older people and their carers. Services were evaluated against
standards derived from legislation, guidance and a current understanding of what constitutes
good practice.

Inspectors rated the Council as ‘good’, and said that it was ‘serving some people well’ and
had ‘promising prospects for improvement’. Inspectors said that the Council had a clear vision
and ambitious aspirations to develop an integrated approach to the delivery of services for
older people in partnership with health.

Impact of improvement measures implemented

Following the publication of the inspection report, a detailed action plan was drawn up
addressing the key areas for improvement.

Further plans for improvement

The Council is currently working on implementing the 22 actions from the action plan. Good
progress has been made to date.

Mental Heath Services, 2001 (and follow up in August 2002)

Introduction

Mental Health Services are delivered in partnership with the South Essex Partnership Trust
(SEPT). In 2001 the Council undertook a Best Value review of Mental Health Services. The
SSI undertook an inspection in September 2001 and followed this up in August 2002. The
SSI concluded that 'mental health services were serving some people well’ and that there
were some strengths in service effectiveness and in joint planning and service development.
In 2001 the SSI considered that prospects for improvement were ‘uncertain due to particular
weaknesses in performance management, line management arrangements and equality of
opportunity issues'. However, the follow up in 2002 showed that the progress had been good
and the service was removed from its ‘enhanced monitoring’ status. Since this inspection
SEPT has been awarded 3 starts for performance by the Commission for Health
Improvement.

Impact of improvement measures implemented

   Better quality of care plans through monthly audit processes.

   Better performance management at team level by means of monthly reporting processes.

   Enhanced support for children by joint protocol with children’s services to assist children
    whose parents have mental health problems and joint protocol Child/Adolescent across
    the Mental Health Trust.
   Development of the service user forum and improvement to the service user pathway.

   Development of an active carers forum and improvement of carers pathway.

   Fully fledged 24-hour crisis resolution home treatment service for the mentally ill.

   Development of an access team that has reduced waiting time from referral to
    assessment.

Further plans for improvement

   Summer 2004 - early intervention in psychosis by Outreach Team

Children’s Services, 2004

Introduction

The SSI inspected the Council’s Children’s Services in January 2004. The inspectors looked
at the quality of the services provided by the Council, and the inspection involved interviews
with staff, managers, partner agencies, families and children, feedback from the National
Care Standards Commission, and an analysis of case files. The SSI agreed that the Council’s
direction of travel was positive, but that there is more that could be done to further improve
services.

The results and recommendation will be reported on shortly. [To add when finalised]

Impact of improvement measures implemented

The Council has developed an action plan to address the recommendations from the
inspection, and is committed to addressing the issues raised in order to further improve
services for children and their families in the Borough.

Further plans for improvement

During 2004 the Council will focus on the action plan that flows from the recommendations of
SSI’s final report.

				
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