Eight councils rated as inadequate for children

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The number of councils rated "inadequate" for the provision of children's services has risen sharply in the past year, according to Ofsted.

The children's services watchdog ranked eight councils as "inadequate" for failing to provide a safe environment for children – up from four in 2007. The report emerges in the wake of the Baby P case, where a 17-month-old boy died after suffering 50 injuries at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and lodger.

The council in that case, Haringey, is among those ranked as having inadequate children's services departments, along with Doncaster, Milton Keynes and Surrey. Those ranked "inadequate" for children's safety included Doncaster, Haringey and Surrey again, plus Birmingham, Essex, Reading, West Sussex and Wokingham.

The findings came as Ofsted published details of all its area performance assessments of children's services at all 150 councils in England. The percentage rated good or outstanding has fallen 5 per cent to 73 per cent. Only three were considered outstanding across the board, Gateshead, Kensington and Chelsea and York.

Ofsted will now concentrate on unannounced inspections to each authority rather than using council data. All councils ranked as inadequate face further investigation.