By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter
Staff working in Nottingham City Council’s failing children’s services will receive extra training in a bid to improve workplace culture.
Inspectors from Ofsted rated the Labour-run authority’s children’s services as ‘inadequate’ in 2022, and said children had been left at risk of harm.
An action plan was put in place and progress is now being monitored by an improvement board, with the potential for further Government intervention if the council fails to improve the services quickly enough.
In council documents, the authority says it has been given £100,000 by the Department for Education (DfE) to pay for extra training for staff.
Documents say: “Nottingham city children’s services received its inspection in July 2022, at which it was judged to be inadequate.
“As part of children’s integrated service’s improvement journey, we have secured funding from the Department for Education to enhance the development opportunities for our workforce.
“We are seeking to procure additional training to build upon and support the development of our strengths-based practice which already includes signs of safety.”
Last year, the council approved a spend of £6.5m on external consultants from Newton Europe to help improve its children’s services, alongside a further £2.4m for a partner to help deliver an improvement programme over a four-year period.
The consultants will work to help the council achieve eight priority areas of improvement, including the timeliness of responses to children’s needs, as well as social work capacity and response to young people who present as homeless.
Council delegated decision documents, published on May 30, say the leadership team and children’s social care workforce will be trained-up to help build and repair relationships with children, known as restorative practice.
The documents add: “To ensure all workers are operating in a strengths-based and restorative way, we wish to train our leadership team and the wider workforce on the key principles of restorative practice, which would strengthen our strengths-based approach to working.
“In this way, the leadership team would be able to support the workforce to embed the practice and model this to the wider children’s integrated services workforce, developing a strong culture in the service, that would then support new starters to understand the ethos and ways of working.
“Without the funding, children’s services will struggle to deliver key practice improvements at pace and risk being able to make the significant improvement required to satisfy Ofsted and provide them with assurance at future inspection visits.”