Children’s services in the East End have deteriorated, reports says

CHILDREN’S services in the East End deteriorated this year, according to a government report.

Ofsted’s recent study into schools, childcare and other services deemed Tower Hamlets as performing “well” in 2010 – a downgrade from the borough’s “excellent” ranking last year.

While some areas, including fostering and adoption, were scored as “outstanding”, officers concluded there were not enough areas performing at the highest level to warrant another year on the top grade.

An authority can receive one of four rankings - performing excellently, well, adequately or poorly.

The standard of education for very young primary school children and college-aged teenagers in the borough was said to be lacking.

One primary school has been providing a low standard of education, according to the Decmber 9 report.

For the first time last year, Tower Hamlets was one of the ten lowest performing authorities in England for the educational achievements of very young children.

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Cllr Stephanie Eaton, Lib Dem for Bethnal Green North, said: “I’m disappointed in the downgrading.

“The council must redouble its efforts because the beginning years and end years are an important part of a child’s development. We have a problem with unemployment so we need to make sure college students have the opportunity to get good jobs and go to university.”

On a plus, test results for 11-year-olds are much higher than in similar areas and exam results for 16-year-olds are improving rapidly.

However, 19-year-olds still do not obtain as many A Levels as those in similar areas.

Obesity levels for Year 6 students is still a problem and more prevalent compared to similar areas.

The local fostering agency was singled out for praise though and branded “outstanding”, while the youth offending service as performing “excellently”.

More young offenders are taking part in education and training in Tower Hamlets than in the rest of England and the numbers going to jail has fallen.

The council said it is prioritising areas which need improvements.

It also pointed out there is also an improving trend among very young children, with the gap between those performing at an average level and those at the lowest level being reduced by 20 per cent year-on-year.

A spokeswoman added: “We are not complacent and want the best outcomes for all of our children. We have identified a range of actions that will support this improvement to continue.

“By the time they are eleven, however, our children have made so much progress that they are out-performing the national average in English and Maths.”