The council’s performance on child social care has improved following extra investment.

The proportion of child and family assessments being completed within 45 working days has risen from just under 80 per cent to 93 per cent in the space of a year.

Child and family assessments are used to find out the needs of a child who may need protection after they have been referred to social services.

During a visit in September last year, Ofsted inspectors found social workers in the referral and assessment service had particularly heavy workloads.

Staff were dealing with between 31 and 36 cases – significantly higher than the 15 to 21 recommended in a pan-London agreement.

In response, cabinet members agreed in November to invest an extra £1 million a year into children’s services.

The improved figures were included in the council’s latest quarterly performance report, which was discussed at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday (October 16).

Tony Theodolou, the council’s executive director of people, told the meeting: “It has had a remarkable effect on people’s morale. It is more than that – people are staying, so our staff turnover rate has reduced considerably.

“It is exactly what I wanted to achieve during my time here – really high-quality work and manageable workloads for staff. We are at the point now where we are getting there.

“The only way you can ensure that is by having really high-calibre staff that stay – and that is what we are managing to achieve.”

While there was positive news in children’s services, the council’s performance in some other areas – including dealing with complaints and planning applications – needs to improve.