THE TURBULENT atmosphere at the council's failing children's services department was highlighted in another damning watchdog report.

A staff exodus which saw three senior managers quit their jobs and unmanageable workloads has seen Reading Borough Council (RBC) continue to struggle.

The department was placed into special measures in 2016 after Ofsted inspectors found a string of failings relating to the way it looks after vulnerable children.

Despite making small steps towards amending its struggles, the council continues to let young people down, Ofsted claims.

A report reads: "The workforce environment continues to be unstable. Three senior managers have recently abruptly left in quick succession, including the interim head of safeguarding and improvement.

"Caseload pressures and numbers in the safeguarding teams are high and some social workers reported that their workloads are unmanageable.

"This turbulent workforce environment is undoubtedly an important factor in the predominantly weak standard of social work provided to children and families, where there are significant needs and child protection concerns.

"Team managers are responsible for too many children’s cases, and some conscientious and industrious managers struggle to provide rigorous and secure management oversight."

In January, RBC had a cohort of 128 children who had not been allocated a social worker.

Despite continuous warnings from Ofsted, there are still 53 vulnerable children in the borough who are yet to be allocated.

But the authority insisted it is making progress and blamed the high cost of living for its struggles to recruit enough social workers.

A council spokesman said: "While the latest Ofsted monitoring letter is disappointing we are confident that overall progress is being made with the improvement of Reading’s children’s services.

"Unfortunately, recruitment continues to be a challenge given the shortage of qualified social workers nationally and the high cost of living in the Reading area."

Peter Sloman, chief executive at Reading Borough Council, added: "I am sorry we are not improving as quickly as we would like and we will redouble our efforts to drive improvement.”