Top marks for supporting troubled young people with special educational needs
Wiltshire Youth Offending Team, in partnership with Wiltshire Council, has earned recognition for the way it cares for young people with special needs in the criminal justice system.
The county has been awarded the Achievement for All Quality Mark by the Department for Education after a two-year process of improvements and continual assessment.
Inspectors hailed the excellence of educational support Wiltshire's Youth Offending Team provides for eight to 17-year-olds who encounter the youth justice system.
Their work ranges from helping prevent troubled children from drifting into crime, through to supporting older youngsters who are in custody.
Wiltshire Youth Offending Team helps about 120 children who are in contact with the youth justice system at any one time.
Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children said: "I'm really pleased we have this recognition of the efforts our teams have made to support children and the families of children who need extra educational help at a difficult period in their lives.
"We are always seeking to find ways to improve our service, and it is a source of huge satisfaction that the team has gained this honour.
"The emphasis was on joint working with many agencies to deliver better outcomes. I am extremely proud of the Wiltshire Youth Offending Team for achieving the Quality Mark. They are an excellent, hardworking team and this is extremely well deserved."
Marius Frank from Achievement for All said: "This was a strong submission.
"Wiltshire embraced the project from the very start and hosted a regional training event attended by neighbouring local authorities.
"Wiltshire also supplied an excellent case study of good liaison with 16+ provision and transition management of young people with complex needs, which has stimulated creative thinking."
The recognition comes shortly after a successful Special Educational Needs and Disability inspection by Ofsted and CQC was published.