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14.11.13

Government threatens takeover of Birmingham children’s services

Children’s services at Birmingham City Council could be taken over by Department for Education officials if Ofsted does not see improvements in an inspection later this month.

The service has been rated as “inadequate” for the past four years and has seen a number of high-profile child deaths in recent years. This summer the new head of the department, Peter Hay, said that he could not guarantee the safety of children in the city.

The DfE has warned that it would have to take further action if there are no signs of improvement.

Hay told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think there's got to be a role for the city council – because it can bring the relationships and the money and the investment.

“But it can't do what it's always done and I absolutely respect that the secretary of state has a very difficult decision because there are no easy answers here to bring these long-term problems – staffing, investment and change – to bear on the lives of children in this city.”

Doncaster Council had its children’s services taken over earlier this year due to repeated failings. The services are currently being provided by a private sector company, in a model that education secretary Michael Gove has suggested should be rolled out further.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Image c. Rudolf Schuba

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