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Tower Hamlets Failed in Education and Safeguarding

By: Afzal Sayed Munna:

 Today, the great saying from Diogenes “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth” has been proved to be wrong by the tower hamlets school leadership and so called politicians. The report published on 7 April 2017 clearly indicated the areas of total failure by the school management and the ignorance of the so-called politicians. The Ofsted report was prepared on three major areas of inspection, which includes: children with help and protection provision, Adoption performance and progress of care leavers and school leadership, management and governance. None of them managed to meet expectation instead the school leadership, management and governance and children with help and protection provision remained inadequate. Indeed this was a failure carried over for last three years and more by tower hamlets.

The report stated that, there is a widespread and serious failure in the services provided to the young children, which indeed resulted in many children remain in situations of actual or potential harm for too long. Ofsted reported on their earlier findings that, services for children in care or adoption are not good enough. Moreover, some services have significantly deteriorated since last inspection report published back in 2012. Local authorities in tower hamlets have been notified about the seriousness of these failures however, nothing happened till to-date. The inspectors identified the main reason that the performance management and the quality assurance systems are not underpinned by the reliable management information.

The report also recommended that, there were no electronic record of the data of any form of services and the local authority as a whole has failed to ensure professional accountability and, as a result, too many children have remained in neglectful and abusive situations for too long. The corrupted mayor Lutfur Rahman and his political group, which led his removal from the post in 2015, broke the entire community service backbone and thus the service was placed in the hands of government appointed commissioners. Ofsted identified more than 25 cases where the needs of children in need of help and protection had not been recognized or properly assessed. The Ofsted report noted that child protection conference chairs lacked oversight and did not always challenge situations when necessary. Tower Hamlets’ local safeguarding children board (LSCB) was also rated as inadequate with the view of lack of oversight and not fulfilling its statutory functions. Tower Hamlets is the fourth council in London to have its children’s services rated “inadequate” by Ofsted after Bromley, Lambeth and Wandsworth. After having a detail conversation with the local authority the politicians and senior management recognizes that it needs to understand better the connections between child sexual exploitation, missing children, youth violence, gangs and radicalization, which no one knows when, will be implemented.

Afzal Sayed Munna, afzalsayedmunna@googlemail.com

Doctoral Researcher and Council candidate for Liberal Democrats 2018