The county's children social care services have been given the highest possible ranking.

In 2014 the way Essex County Council looked after vulnerable children was deemed 'good', with Ofsted inspectors raising some concerns about how well young people were safeguarded.

Four years later and the concerted efforts of the county's social workers has paid off, with the services rated 'outstanding'.

In the report Ofsted inspectors praised Essex social workers, noting: “Staff enjoy working in Essex; morale and motivation are high.

"Workers describe the work they are able to undertake with children and families as the reason they came into social work,

“Social workers know children very well. They demonstrate a good understanding of their needs and plans and are passionate about securing and sustaining improvements in their lives."

The report also highlighted the strong political and corporate support meant the local authority has been able to manage demand and prioritise children's needs.

Cllr Dick Madden, cabinet member for children and families, said: “This Outstanding rating is simply the best way to start the New Year. It is a fantastic achievement to all working in children's social care in Essex and I want to say thank you to each and every person who has played a part in making Essex Ofsted Outstanding.”

The full Ofsted report can be found at