LGA responds to Ofsted annual report

“We want to work with the Government on a cross-Whitehall strategy that puts children and young people at the heart of our long-term recovery from the pandemic, ensuring all children have the support they need to thrive.”


Young children sharing a large desk and school working

Responding to Ofsted’s annual report, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“The impact of the pandemic on children and young people’s education and wider development is well known. The additional funding made available by the Government to support education recovery is positive, but it must go further and commit to funding a programme that goes beyond academic achievement to include measures to support children and young people’s socialisation, communication and mental health and well-being.

“The report rightly acknowledges the growing number of children and young people being Electively Home Educated. While the majority of parents who home educate their children work well with their local council to make sure a good education is being provided, a duty on parents to register home-schooled children with their local authority would help councils to monitor how children are being educated, and prevent children from disappearing from the oversight of services designed to keep them safe.

“We know that children and young people with SEND have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and it is right that Ofsted recognises that there is a greater focus on effective SEND support in some local areas. While additional funding to support children and young people with SEND will help, it is clear that the system is in need of significant reform.

“As we have previously highlighted, children’s services face a £600 million shortfall in funding each year which must be addressed if we are to provide children and families with the support they need.

“It is becoming very difficult to find suitable placements for young people with very complex needs. We hope the ongoing investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority and the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care will lead to significant improvements in the placements ‘market’, but these changes will not come quickly enough for the children who need support now. We urgently need the Government to work with us on recruiting the foster carers and children’s homes workforce that we need to support our children in care.

“We want to work with the Government on a cross-Whitehall strategy that puts children and young people at the heart of our long-term recovery from the pandemic, ensuring all children have the support they need to thrive.”