Ofsted praises Bromley’s children’s services and the positive culture to champion children’s needs across the wider council

Published Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Ofsted has confirmed Bromley’s continued positive trajectory of improvement in children’s services with a glowing appraisal published today (19 October 2021) following a focused visit in September.

The letter from Ofsted declares: ‘children in Bromley are recognised as high priority and the lead member and chief executive ensure that a consideration of their needs is championed and embedded in the wider council.

Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Children, families and education, Cllr Kate Lymer said: “We are all extremely excited by the plaudits from Ofsted that reaffirm what we believed to be true: that Bromley is continuing unabated to reach for excellence for our children’s services.

“The Ofsted letter confirms that elected members, council officers and our partners are pulling out all the stops to ensure we support each and every one of our children. We all continue to work hard together to fulfil and exceed our role as corporate parents, ensuring our young people grow, flourish and reach their full potential.”

Bromley’s ‘ambitious and determined leadership ensures that services continue to strengthen so there is a positive experience for children in care’ is reported in the letter, acknowledging that children make good progress supported by a stable and skilled workforce.

The impact of Covid-19 was considered well managed with staff demonstrating resilience and resourcefulness. Children are known very well by their social workers and there are enduring and committed relationships with young people which result in a clear understanding of children’s needs with thoughtful and highly individualised approaches seen to shine through. High quality work undertaken alongside children themselves was also praised, made possible by manageable caseloads. 

Strong resources to support children with their emotional well-being and mental health were also recognised. This includes two in-house CAMHS workers, a therapeutic service, as well as a comprehensive range of mental health and emotional well-being services for children and their families delivered by partners Bromley Y.

Scrutiny was recognised as coming from independently chaired boards which also saw young people as active members ensuring their voice is heard.

One small point of learning is to link up data and intelligence around the return home of missing children to more accurately reflect the fine work being done in this area. This will be accomplished following the implementation of a new casework management system introduced recently.

Councillor Lymer added: “We are so proud of our children and want them to do well no matter their circumstances. We will continue to push towards excellence, secure in the knowledge that our determined work is recognised by Ofsted and their finding from this focused visit will be taken into account when they plan their next inspection visit to Bromley.”