NORTH Tyneside Council’s work to support and protect vulnerable children and young people has been praised by government inspectors.
The authority and its partners’ efforts have been given the thumbs-up by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) following an inspection in March.
The assessment of the authority’s safeguarding and looked-after children’s services saw a dozen of the criteria they were marked on rated as good, eight graded as outstanding and two judged as being adequate.
Inspectors rated the overall effectiveness of the services as good, with outstanding capacity to improve.
The ratings put North Tyneside Council in the top ten of local authorities nationally for its work with children and young people.
Among the findings of the inspection were that ambition and prioritisation are outstanding and leadership and management are good among safeguarding services staff.
The inspectors also found that the contribution of health agencies to keeping children and young people safe was good.
The council’s work with looked-after children was judged to be either outstanding or good in different areas and its efforts to keep such youngsters safe and help them make a positive contribution to society was given the highest possible ranking.
Borough mayor Linda Arkley said: “We are delighted that Ofsted has recognised our good and outstanding work in North Tyneside to safeguard and protect some of our most vulnerable children and young people, and give them the very best chance in life.
“We have very high aspirations for all our young people and equally high aspirations for the services that support them.
“We continually strive for excellence and improvement, and we are particularly pleased Ofsted has recognised that we are in a very strong position to build on our already-good support.
“This outcome is a credit to all those who work tirelessly to support vulnerable children and young people in North Tyneside.”
The inspectors commended reductions in anti-social behaviour and youth crime, and increases in the number of young people in education, employment and training, despite challenging economic conditions.
They also found that good access to integrated and effective sexual health and genito-urinary services has had a positive impact, such as the progress being made in continuing to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies in North Tyneside.