Barnet’s children’s services continue to improve – but more work remains to be done to bring them up to a good standard.

Ofsted inspectors found the council was “continuing to consolidate progress” following a visit to the borough in November, adding that the pace of change was “purposeful and steady”.

It was the fifth monitoring visit Ofsted have carried out since the council’s children’s services were judged to be inadequate in July last year.

Inspectors said staff were “positive about working in Barnet”, with good morale and manageable workloads.

They praised the “strong practice” in the multi-agency safeguarding hub (Mash), which aims to stop the abuse of vulnerable youngsters through early intervention.

Inspectors said management oversight was “strong and consistent” and that increased staffing levels had helped to boost the quality of the work.

Ofsted’s report said: “Inspectors found strong practice in the Mash. An established team of professionals work together well to respond to the risks and needs of children.”

But it adds there is still room for improvement, with children’s assessments and plans “not of a consistently good quality”.

The report concludes: “Inspectors saw more work of a reasonable standard of practice; risks for children are reduced, they are making progress and there is stronger and better engagement with them and their families.

“This concurs with the local authority’s own understanding of their performance. Senior leaders are fully aware of the areas of practice they still need to improve to ensure that all practice is of a good standard.

Cllr David Longstaff, chairman of the children, education and safeguarding committee, said: “With the safety and wellbeing of our children of paramount importance to us, it is very encouraging to see that the improvements we have made are being consolidated, and that we are continuing to make positive progress.

“As was highlighted in the monitoring letter, there are some areas which require further work and we will continue to focus all of our efforts on achieving the improvements we need to make.”