AN ADVISER has been appointed by the government to oversee Gloucestershire County Council’s children’s services in the wake of a damning Ofsted report in June.

“Serious and widespread” failures were identified by the watchdog’s inspectors who also called into question “the integrity of the senior leadership team”.

Following the inspection wholesale staff changes were made to the department’s management and an improvement plan was put in place.

The Department for Education (DfE) has now appointed an adviser to work with the council in implementing changes.

An improvement notice was issued to the council by the DfE today in a bid to “address all the areas for improvement identified in the report… published by Ofsted on June 13” and will remain in place “until some such time that the secretary of state is satisfied this is no longer required”.

Further requirements of the notice are that changes suggested by Ofsted and the adviser are made, that an improvement board be established and that the views of frontline staff and children are taken into account.

Additional funding of £9.2million was also allocated to the council’s children’s services to ensure improvements can be made, following Ofsted’s report.

DfE officials will be reviewing progress in the service at least every six months and has set a target if the end of November 2019 for all of the actions in the council’s improvement plan to be delivered by.

If the council does not comply with the improvement notice or ministers are unsatisfied with progress, then they are able to invoke statutory powers to intervene in management of the service.

Gloucestershire County Council has been contacted for comment.