It's official, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will stop working together to provide children's services on the Island, after a decade-long partnership.

The Isle of Wight Council will now build its own children's service department, with new leaders, but 'buy-back' services from Hampshire County Council to ensure a smooth transition.

Senior Island councillors agreed on Thursday that the current partnership agreement will end on January 31, 2024 and all parts of the service, including education, will be brought back under the authority's control.

The joint working began when the Isle of Wight Council's children's services offer was rated inadequate by Ofsted, but it has since been rated good. 

The council had considered providing all services itself but felt it would not have enough time to set up suitable replacements.

It has not ruled out providing its own services in the future, once stable and robust leadership is in place and it is viable to do so.

The authority spends around £2 million delivering its current service and has said it would be able to employ a new leadership team and the 'buy-back' services with the same funding envelope.

The 'buy-back' services which would come from Hampshire County Council include access to the multi-agency safeguarding hub and school improvement services.

It would be for a minimum of 12 months to allow a smooth transition to take place and new arrangements established, providing a 'stable environment for service delivery'.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox, council leader and cabinet member for education, thanked the staff for working so quickly, after Hampshire announced its intention in July, giving only six months to find solutions.

Cabinet member for children's education, Cllr Debbie Andre, said the council was in a stronger position now than it was a decade ago and this was an opportunity to look at the services and shape them to what is right for the Island.