CHILDREN'S services on the Isle of Wight will continue to be managed by Hampshire County Council.
At the insistence of the government, Hampshire took charge of services following an Ofsted inspection five years ago, which identified serious failings and found vulnerable children were at risk of harm.
That enforced period of partnership will come to an end in June.
The Isle of Wight Council cabinet yesterday (Thursday) considered returning control to County Hall — but ruled it out because the Hampshire partnership had been so successful and cost effective.
Branded inadequate at the time of the takeover, children's social care services have improved. In addition, more schools are rated good or outstanding.
Cabinet members agreed to renew the partnership with Hampshire — moving from an enforced to a voluntary arrangement, with break clauses after each Ofsted inspection or every five years.
Opting for a different strategy risked causing upheaval and instability, and possibly a return to failing services, they agreed.
Cabinet member for children's services, Cllr Paul Brading said: "The decision to renew it was an easy one to make, with much evidence available of how it has worked in so many areas to help turn around our education and children’s services.
"Our Ofsted inspection is due early next year. I don't want to tempt fate, but hopefully we are working towards achieving a good rating by then."
The details of the new partnership agreement, which is subject to approval by Hampshire, will now be drawn up by senior councillors and officers.