Ofsted inspectors have awarded Wiltshire Council’s Children’s Services with an “Outstanding” rating.

Councillors described themselves as “proud” and “delighted” by the news at the latest cabinet meeting.

The inspectors spent two weeks in September observing how the council works with children and families in need of support and concluded they were receiving high-quality services that made a positive difference to their lives.

The report states: “Since the time of the last inspection in 2019, when services were judged to be good, political, corporate and children’s services leaders have focused successfully on strengthening existing services further, investing in new preventative services and teams.

“While levels of need have risen in much of the country, this investment, particularly in preventative services, has helped to ensure that the level of need for children’s services remains stable and services are meeting more children’s needs well.”

It also adds: ”The highly successful cross-council work to deliver improved support and services for children and young people in respect of housing, the care leaver offer, and in safeguarding young adults is perhaps the best illustration of the Wiltshire ‘one council approach’ for children.”

Councillor Laura Mayes, cabinet member for Children’s Services, said: “I want to congratulate the hardworking staff who have been recognised as providing this outstanding support and care to make a positive difference to children and young people’s lives.

“We want the very best for all our children and young people, so they are not held back by circumstances.

“We will do everything in our power to be the very best corporate parent and provide excellent support and care.

“Ofsted has recognised across the board the council is fully committed to supporting every child to achieve.”

Lucy Townsend, the corporate director of people at the council, added: "We were confident the service was in excellent shape but to have it confirmed independently and so positively is hugely satisfying.

"We are never complacent though, and we will always strive to do more, but it is heartening to see the hard work has made a real difference to children and young people's lives for the better.”

The news was met with applause at the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, December 12.

Councillor Jon Hubbard, the chairman of the Children’s Select Committee, described it as one of the proudest days in his time at the council.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Gordon King congratulated the teams on the achievement and said it was "richly deserved."