Latest scrutiny panel meeting highlights worrying data on prospects of looked after children

The latest Children and Young Peoples Scrutiny Panel has highlighted worrying data on the prospects for looked after children in Greenwich.  The meeting focused on Greenwich Council's performance in meeting certain local and national targets for educational standards, outcomes for looked after children, supporting parents, improving access to services for young people and improving behaviour. 

Of the data considered the council appears not to be meeting almost 50 targets in regards to these key areas, perhaps most worrying of all is the fact that performace has worsened in terms of the stability of placements for the borough's looked after children, with no real explanation of why this is happening, other than the fact that 'the cohort of children was more challenging.'  The prospects for looked after children going  into further education, employment or training also seems to be deteriorating, with just 42% going into one of the three in the last quarter of 2009/10, compared to 59% the previous year, and against an expected target of 75%.

Reporting of the latest TellUs Survey of children in the borough, which asks children about their views on the local area and the services that they use, also highlighted concerns. The results revealed that children in Greenwich have lower emotional wellbeing than children nationally and the boroughs neighbours.  Again the council is unsure as to why this may be and investigating further.

On a positive note the recent Ofsted inspections of schools,  saw a number of schools move from Satisfactory to Good status, as well as two schools acheiving the highest rating of Outstanding, which is a credit to the teachers, pupils, Governors and parents of the schools involved. 

Greenwich Conservatives will now be campaigning for the council to support those schools who will want to make use of the new Government's forthcoming legislation allowing the schools rated as Outstanding to become independent Academies, free from local authority control.