Children & Young People

Key Messages
  • In June 2019, Ofsted inspection of local authority children’s services in Wirral found that Wirral was no longer providing inadequate services for children. The inspection judgements as stated within the Inspection Report rated the impact of leadership on social work practice as ‘Good’ and the experience and progress of children in need of help and protection and children in care as ‘Requires Improvement’.

  • There were a number of recommendations made by Ofsted. In response, Wirral Children’s Services developed an Ofsted Improvement Plan with specific, measurable and realistic actions which will provide the direction and focus for the next year. The plan will be monitored in-year with a full review completed annually to evaluate impact and to reshape priorities moving forward.

  • The proportion of year 1 pupils attaining the expected standard in phonics increased from 80.8% (2018) to 81.9% (2019). This matches the emerging national average which is also 81.9%.

  •  The proportion of children achieving the expected standard in mathematics at Key Stage 2 increased from 71% (2018) to 74.9% (2019), resulting in the gap between Wirral outcomes and the national average narrowing from 5% to 4.1%.

  • A Progress School located in Birkenhead, provides a 12-week re-integration programme for Key Stage 3 students, as preparation for students to re-join mainstream school. Over 94% of Key Stage 3 students have been successfully re-integrated back into mainstream education.

  • There has been a 36.5% increase in referrals to Wirral’s Early Help Service (over the past 12 months) which is beginning to reduce demand on statutory, Level 4 Social Care teams. There has already been a 15.5% reduction in social care contacts at the Integrated Front Door

  • 100% of Early Help cases have a plan in place to ensure that interventions are targeted, and plans do not drift.

  • There has been an increase in the number of social workers recruited to permanent positions. This includes a 55% reduction in agency staff over the past twelve months.

  • The number of Children Looked After in Wirral is beginning to reduce. Low numbers of children leaving care has been a familiar trend, but a new discharge process has been introduced to address this issue. As at end of October 2019 the number of Children Looked After in Wirral was 822 or 121.6 per 10,000 population.

  • Almost 74% of Wirral Children Looked After are placed with foster carers.

  • The number of children identified with SEND in early years has risen to 4% (2018/19) from 3.8% (2017/18)

  • Improved practice and processes within the local authority SEND Team and increased compliance with advices from Health and the Education Phycologist Service has resulted in increased compliance of completion of Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCPs) Completion rates for 2019/20 highlight a figure for Quarter 2 (2019/20) of 52% which is a significant increase from 25.8% in Quarter 1 (2019/20).

Supporting evidence
Previous content

Children & Young People: JSNA
(Previously published in 2018)

Overview of needs (July 2016)
This document provides an overview of the key issues impacting upon Wirral children and their families. It provides the basis for the work of partners through the improving and developing quality intelligence and needs analysis. This evolves commissioning for outcomes based on insight and a sound evidence. The Children, Young People and Families Strategy pledges will be effectively informed and underpinned by this, and the next generation, needs analysis.

Child Protection and Looked after Children section
(Previously published in 2015)

Children & Young People section
(Previously published in 2013)

Mental Health and Wellbeing Profile (June 2016)
The profile presents all the local authority level indicators contained within the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Profiling Tool.

Demographic Information for Early Years and Maternity (July 2016)
This document includes data on numbers of births, children and young people in Wirral and population projections for children. It also includes information on deprivation, prevalence of low birthweight, breastfeeding, obesity and injuries.

Early Years Foundation Stage Briefing (April 2016) 
This report provides analysis of the Early Years Foundation Stage scores in academic year ending in 2015.

Demographic Information for Early Years and Maternity (February 2016)
This document includes demographic information on numbers of children and young people in Wirral, population projections for children, deprivation, prevalence of low birthweight, obesity and other key health issues in the early years.

Children & Young People's Health Benchmarking Tool
Produced by Public Health England, this online fingertips tool is updated as and when data becomes available and can be accessed here.

Youth & Policy Special Edition: The Next Five Years: Prospects for young people (May 2015)
This document offers a critical space for discussion around youth policy and youth work theory and practice.