Sutton's children's services department receives top Ofsted report 08.11.11
The department responsible for ensuring Sutton's children stay safe and receive a first class education has been awarded top marks following a recent Ofsted inspection.
Sutton's Children, Young People and Learning Department received a glowing report, scoring the maximum grade – "performing excellently" - for its overall provision and services for youngsters in the borough.
Sutton is one of just 28 of the 152 local authorities with responsibility for children's services judged to be excellent.
The children's services watchdog highlighted Sutton's success in narrowing the gap between the achievements of young people from different economic backgrounds.
It states: "Children from families with low incomes consistently do better than the average for such groups in similar areas and the gap between these children and their peers in Sutton has narrowed more than it has nationally in recent years."
The report goes on to say that, with support from the council, primary schools have improved even more since last year's report.
All special schools and pupil referral units are deemed 'good', and the report says that young people with special needs in Sutton do better than their national counterparts and again, the gap between their achievements and others in the borough is narrowing.
Sutton's nurseries have improved, with a quarter considered "excellent".
The borough's fostering and adoption services are praised, and the council's ability to keep vulnerable children safe is also highlighted.
The report follows the recent announcement that Sutton pupils achieved the best GCSE results in the country, and earlier this year the borough's 11-year-olds earned the third highest SATs results.
Cllr Kirsty Jerome, Executive Member for Education and Schools at Sutton Council, said: "This is excellent news for families in Sutton; across the board, from nursery right through school and into sixth form, they're getting a first class education.
"I'm particularly pleased that Ofsted has highlighted our determination and success at narrowing the gap between those from low income families and other children across the borough."
Cllr Dave Callaghan, Executive Member for Children, Families and Youth Services at Sutton Council, said: "Sutton was recently named the best place in London to bring up children, and this report endorses that.
"From our children's centres to services for our most vulnerable children in care, our staff are working hard to make sure children and young people in Sutton get the very best start in life."