09 Nov 2017 Last updated at 17:00

Green light for renewal of partnership

The go ahead has been given for the long-term renewal of the Island’s successful children’s services partnership with Hampshire.

An extension of the existing five year link with Hampshire was tonight (Thursday) approved by the council’s Cabinet.
 
The key partnership has brought major improvements to education and children’s social care on the Island – including in exam results, Ofsted ratings for schools, and in social care standards.
 
“This partnership has been absolutely vital for the children and young people of the Island and their families – and has given us access to a far wider range of knowledge, expertise and support,” said Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for Children’s Services.
 
“The decision to renew it was an easy one to make, with much evidence available of how it has worked in so many areas to help turn around our education and children’s services.
 
“It’s continuation is at the very heart of the Conservative administration’s pledge to deliver education excellence for our young people, as well as ensuring they can grow up in a safe and happy environment.”
 
The renewal is also subject to Hampshire County Council agreement, and Councillor Brading confirmed that full discussions have been had with Hampshire leaders and an equivalent decision is expected early in the new year.
 
The partnership with Hampshire was created in 2013 after the government stepped in and ordered improvements to children’s safeguarding and education services on the Island. The ‘ministerial direction’ from the government currently remains in place until June 2018.
 
It costs the council £1.3 million a year for the wide range of support from Hampshire, and it is estimated it has given £4.3 million of savings to children’s services between 2014 and 2016.
 
Factfile:
 
•             At the start of the partnership 51 per cent of schools were ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. This figure is now 80 per cent.
•             At the start of the partnership 18 per cent of schools were judged ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted. This figure is now two per cent.
•             Standards in early years education have improved so that they have gone from below national average to in line with or above the national average.
•             Standards at the end of primary education have improved, with reading now in line with national average.
•             Standards in secondary schools have got better, but there is still much improvement to be made.
•             An Ofsted ‘focused’ visit of children’s services (social care) in August this year, found that management oversight of children needing help or protection was strong, and effective systems for review and challenge were in place.
 
The report that went to the Cabinet can be viewed via 'Related Links' (top right).

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The partnership with Hampshire began five years ago
The partnership with Hampshire began five years ago
Factfile
  • It costs the council £1.3 million a year for the wide range of support from Hampshire, and it is estimated it has given £4.3 million of savings to children’s services between 2014 and 2016.
 
Isle of Wight, UK