OFSTED has carried out its first visit to BCP Council’s children’s services since the department was slammed and received the lowest rating possible.

A scathing report, which was published in February, rated the service as inadequate.

The watchdog will carry out a series of monitoring visits to focus on specific areas of the local authority’s work as a result of its critical inspection findings.

The first of these visits took place across two days on Tuesday, June 7, and Wednesday, June 8.

Ofsted will publish a report on its latest findings in due course, typically several weeks after the visit has taken place.

Providing a statement on the first monitoring visit, a BCP Council spokesperson said: “This is business as usual - as part of its process Ofsted carries out a number of monitoring visits to all Councils where children’s services are working to move from the rating of inadequate.

“Ofsted has been completing its first monitoring visit to BCP Council Children’s Services on June 7 to 8.

“The council was aware of the planned visit which involved a two-day onsite programme.”

Since the inadequate rating was issued, BCP Council appointed Cathi Hadley as director of children’s services Cathi Hadley. Hampshire County Council’s former director John Coughlan was also appointed to the role of improvement advisor.

Ofsted’s full inspection in December last year, its first of BCP Council since local government reorganisation in Dorset, concluded there were “serious and widespread” weaknesses leaving vulnerable children at risk of harm.

This took place just over a year after a critical focused inspection of the council department.

Councillor Mike White, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for children’s social care, said recommendations for improvement had been implemented in the time between the December 2021 inspection and the publication of the report in February.

The senior Conservative councillor has repeatedly stated In interviews and council meetings that improving children’s services is a top priority for the council and leader Cllr Drew Mellor, highlighting increased budgets of more than £20million in the two years 2021 to 2023.