Published: Monday, 23rd August 2021

Ofsted has praised the Royal Borough of Greenwich for how it has handled the pressures of the pandemic to improve services for young people.  

Following a two-day inspection in July, inspectors found that ‘partnerships have responded well to the restrictions and challenges’ posed by COVID-19. 

And despite the obstacles of the last 18 months, in describing social work practice and the complexity of working with vulnerable adolescents, the watchdog reported that ‘senior leaders have responded well and strengthened their performance since the previous inspection of 2019…. (to) create a solid foundation for social workers to develop good practice and have a positive impact on children’s lives’. 

Ofsted carried out the focused visit to look at our arrangements for young people who are aged between 15 and 18 and subject to child-in-need plans, child protection plans or receiving a specialist service. 

Other key findings include: 

  • Senior leaders and partner agencies have created sophisticated and effective systems to address risks to children outside of their family home, including that of knife crime and exploitation. 
  • Low caseloads and reflective supervision create a solid foundation for social workers to develop good practice and have a positive impact on children’s lives. 
  • Support for children has been maintained and a safe system to have staff in key buildings was swiftly put in place. 

Councillor Matt Morrow, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “This report is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our fantastic social workers and all children’s services staff. It’s reassuring to see that, despite the pandemic, our service continues to be at a high level, and getting better.   

“Ofsted’s inspection shows we are committed to responding to challenges for the benefit of our children and young people. We know the risks our young people face with knife crime and gangs, and as inspectors recognised, we are committed to putting in place a system that keeps the children in our borough safe from exploitation. 

“To have strengthened our performance considering the immeasurable challenges of COVID-19 is an amazing achievement, and I know there are no plans to slow down in this incredibly ambitious department.” 

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is currently rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Read the full report here.