CHILDREN’S services in the county has moved out of its inadequate rating, according to a new report by Ofsted.

Worcestershire County Council has received a ‘requires improvement’ rating from Ofsted in its first inspection since it was slapped with the worst possible rating by the care watchdog in 2017.

The report said there was evidence of a “sustained trajectory of improvement” since its last full inspection and the council had made “considerable progress” in most of the areas it had failed in.

The county council has spent almost £20 million on improving children’s services since the inadequate rating in 2017.

Catherine Driscoll, director of children’s services, said she was “delighted” with the report and children services was in a much better position than two years ago but was still a long way from where it needed to be.

The council said it was halfway through its five-year plan to have at least a ‘good’ rating by 2022.

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The council was forced by the Department for Education to provide children’s services differently and the new ‘wholly-owned’ company Worcestershire Children First will officially run services on behalf of the council from October.

Bosses said the improvements were quicker than expected and the county council was the only authority in the country that had improved its Ofsted rating before setting up a new company.

The council said it has moved away from relying on agency staff to provide children’s care and said 85 per cent of staff are now employed permanently compared to around 40 per cent in 2016.

The council did admit too many children leaving care are living in bed and breakfasts and Ofsted said the number has not improved since the 2016 inspection.

Ofsted also said the council was not providing clear access to dedicated mental health services for children in care or children leaving care.

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member for children and families, said: “I am pleased that inspectors have seen the improvements that have been made. I would like to thank everyone involved for all the hard work that has been put in over the last two and a half years.

“There is more work still to do and we are determined that we will continue to improve our services for all children and young people in Worcestershire.”