Significant progress has been made in tackling deep-rooted issues that have led to children’s services in the Slough Borough being grated as inadequate by Ofsted.

Following a three-week inspection that took place between 14 January and 1 February, these servicers received an improved rating of ‘requires improvement to be good’. Slough Borough Council and Slough Children’s Trust’s leaders are said to have ‘robust plans in place to ensure progress continues’.

The inspection found that the support received by children in the town who need help, care and protection has improved significantly since the Trust was set up in 2015.

Robert Tapsfield, Chair of Slough Children’s Services Trust, said: “We are really encouraged by this report which confirms that progress has been made. That’s thanks to the talent and dedication of our staff, a solid partnership with the council and stronger leadership.

“Our new chief executive, Lisa Humphreys, is now leading the way and driving change at a faster pace than ever. We know there are still improvements to be made and will be working hard, with the council, to continue making progress for our children and young people.”

The Trust received praise for identifying children’s needs and responding to them proactively for good partnership working with health services and local police officers.

Inspectors found that, through regular visits, social workers were building strong relationships with children and their assessments were of good quality, although work is still needed to ensure consistency in the quality of children’s plans.

Services for care leavers were reported to have improved significantly, with care leavers being better supported to successfully live independent lives. The number of care leavers in education, employment or training has also risen.

Cllr Shabnum Sadiq, Cabinet Member for Children and Education, Slough Borough Council said: “After three inadequate inspections we are delighted the council and the Trust are delivering progress and better outcomes for children. The council and the Trust are under relatively new leadership and we have further developed our partnership to ensure we work even more closely.

“This report shows children services in Slough are moving in the right direction and we look forward to continuing the partnership and supporting the improvements needed to get these services to a consistently good standard.”

The Trust and council will continue to work together, alongside other partners, to build on the progress already made in children’s services. Many of the recommended improvements were recognized in their recent self-assessment of children’s services, with Ofsted reporting that this showed a realistic understanding of the work needed to further strengthen quality and standards.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Protecting vulnerable children and keeping them safe from harm is paramount and we will not hesitate to intervene where this is at risk. For many years, children and families in Slough did not receive the support they deserve, so I am pleased to see that Ofsted has confirmed much progress is being made.

“Today’s report is down to strong leadership and the hard work of staff at the Trust and Council. We want Slough to be able to deliver for every child and so we want this progress to be the first step towards sustained and continuing improvement.”