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INSPECTORS have given Kirklees Council a good report for its provision for children.

Ofsted yesterday announced that the council's children's services are performing well.

According to its report, the majority of Kirklees services are classed as "good or better".

Ofsted gives the council three stars out of four and reports that its performance is improving.

Kirklees Cabinet member for children's services, Clr Ken Smith, said: "We welcome this report and we have already stated our commitment to working on the areas for development identified by Ofsted.

"It is pleasing - and a tribute to the thousands of people in our workforce - that the vast majority of outcomes are either in line with or above the standards which are seen nationally or in similar areas.

"Enhancing the life chances of young people is a key council priority. We work exceptionally hard to make sure all our services, from education to frontline child protection, are as strong as possible.

"There has never been a greater demand, or a greater focus, on children's services. We will continue aiming to push up standards in Kirklees so that our children and young people get the best possible start in life."

The Ofsted report says all children's homes and fostering and adoption agencies in Kirklees are good or better; arrangements for keeping children and young people safe are almost always good and that child protection staff receive high-quality training. The inspector also praises the council for giving young people a say through the Kirklees Youth Council.

However, Ofsted's report raises concerns about the number of primary schools not meeting expected standards and the amount of 19-year-olds with no qualifications.

The report states: "Pupil referral units, special schools and sixth form colleges are particularly successful in preparing young people for life after school.

"The local authority knows that not all young people do as well as they can at the age of 19 and is committed to bringing about further improvement."

Last night Clr Smith presented a progress report to the monthly council meeting.

He told councillors that:. The p ro p o r t i o n o f 1 6 t o 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training continues to fall. The proportion of children obtaining the national benchmark in English and mathematics atKey Stage 2 is above the national average and improving at twice the national rate. C h i l d ren and young people's participation in high-quality sport and PE is at 82% - above the official target. The proportion of care leavers in education, training or work has increased and is now at 86%.

* DOING WELL: Clr Ken Smith


* DOING WELL: Clr Ken Smith
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 9, 2010
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