THE Government will this week review Hampshire County Council’s running of children’s services on the Isle of Wight.

The review will be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the current arrangement, after the county took over their running in 2013 to help improve standards. The deal runs until 2018.

Ofsted ranked the Island’s child protection services as “inadequate” in 2012, while the Department for Education (DfE) also raised concerns about its schools.

The Island’s executive member for children’s services councillor Chris Whitehouse has confirmed there was a break clause in the Hampshire contract which could see services returned to local control when the deal runs out next year.

Starting today, the DfE’s Delivery Unit will meet with county council officers in Winchester before travelling to the island to conduct a further review.

Cllr Whitehouse said: “Hampshire officers have delivered demonstrable and measurable progress in both schools and social services.

“Just as importantly, they have changed the ethos and attitude from one of a widespread denial of the problems we had to one of a welcome by service providers of challenge and support in addressing those problems. We still have a long way to go, but we have made real progress since the deal with Hampshire was brokered.

“School standards are improving and our most vulnerable children are safer today than they have been for many years.”

Following the local elections on May 4, councillor Whitehouse explains there would be two major projects to be taken forward:

“First we will need a thorough review of progress to date and future strategies to ensure that we continue to drive up standards in our schools,” he added.

“Secondly, we will work with Hampshire to identify different options for continuing a relationship with Hampshire to ensure our objectives are delivered: all schools good or better, with a quarter of them outstanding; and our most vulnerable children as safe as they can be. Nothing else will do.”