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Plymouth praised while Doncaster faces government intervention

Ofsted has praised Plymouth Council’s children’s services department for the way it handled a high-profile child protection investigation.

The inspection found the overall effectiveness of safeguarding services in Plymouth was good and highlighted that there had been steady improvement of the agencies working together to safeguard children since the joint review in 2006.

The effectiveness of their progress, the report said, was highlighted in June 2009 when the partnership was faced with the major investigation.

Nursery worker Vanessa George was jailed in December for sexually abusing children in her care at Little Ted’s Nursery in Plymouth and swapping indecent images on the internet.

It highlighted that at that time, the demand for safeguarding services had already increased as a result of high profile events elsewhere.

“The partnership delivered outstanding work to secure the safety and wellbeing of young children and provided a high level of support to their parents,” the report said.

The overall effectiveness was graded as ‘good’.

Meanwhile, the government has announced that it has identified a potential new chief executive for Doncaster Council, which was criticised in an Audit Commission report in April over the deaths of seven local children who had been abused. The council also apologised for errors which allowed two brothers to torture two other boys in Edlington.

The government has identified a potential chief executive and proposes the appointment of three commissioners and the establishment of an Improvement Board.

It has been reported that the chief executive will be Rob Vincent, the current chief executive at Kirklees Council.