Inspectors have rated a borough’s children’s services ‘outstanding’.

Officials from education watchdog Ofsted visited Redbridge and ranked its services among the top performers in the country.

Inspectors visited between April and May and praised ‘exceptional leadership’ in the borough.

The inspection report said: “Senior managers demonstrate relentless drive and ambition for children, leading to the provision of consistently strong and highly effective services for them.”

Inspectors said services had strengthened since the last inspection. The borough’s overall rating went up from ‘good’ in 2016 to ‘outstanding’ at this visit.

The report added: “This exemplary management has created conditions that afford workers the time, professional expertise and capacity to get to know children and young people well.

“This best practice secures positive experiences and good progress for children.

“The regulator found child protection services that were outstanding during the last inspection, including the ‘front door’, described as a model of efficiency and excellence, have been further enhanced, meaning that even the best services have improved.”

The council was also praised for its handling of gang risks, county lines and exploitation issues.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “I am delighted Ofsted have rated our children’s services ‘outstanding’.

“I know how hard our cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Elaine Norman, and council staff are working to provide the best services for our local young people and this work is clearly paying off.

“Despite losing 60 per cent of our council funding over the past decade, and being the lowest funded London borough for children’s services, I have always been determined that this administration will continue to deliver for residents.

“Ensuring our children and young people are properly provided for is our responsibility but it is also our privilege. I want to congratulate everyone involved in both devising and delivering an exemplary service.”

Cllr Norman said: “I’m delighted we have achieved the highest possible rating from Ofsted. Determination, hard work and an exceptional ambition to improve, from our skilled and thoughtful practitioners through to the senior leadership team, has led to this result.

“I’d like to thank every one of them. For Ofsted to recognise the significant progress we have made and the excellence our services for the most vulnerable children in our borough makes me extremely proud.”