Latest Public Sector News

15.11.18

Northamptonshire County Council: Another commissioner on the way after huge decline in children’s services

Communities secretary James Brokenshire has decided to appoint an additional commissioner to the team already in place at Northamptonshire County Council as a result of Ofsted’s latest inspection, which concluded that children’s services had deteriorated significantly since its last visit two years ago.

After a two-day visit, Ofsted wrote to the council to say that services had declined intensely against a backdrop of recent financial uncertainty. Children were not being assessed consistently or effectively, were not properly supported and protected, and there were concerns over workforce capacity and oversight.

In a written statement, Brokenshire said that, after carefully considering the evidence and speaking to the commissioners, he and education secretary Damian Hinds agreed that they must “act swiftly to strengthen the focus on children in the current intervention” by appointing an extra person.

“Keeping vulnerable children safe is one of the most important duties local authorities carry out and any deterioration in the performance of Northamptonshire children’s services cannot continue,” he wrote.

“The secretary of state for education has therefore announced that he is minded to appoint a children’s services commissioner for Northamptonshire under the powers granted to him by Parliament under section 497A (4B) of the Education Act 1996. This will help to stabilise and improve the service so each and every child receives the protection they deserve.”

The commissioner will also help the council decide how to best deliver its children’s services after the looming local government reorganisation in the region.

Hinds currently wants to appoint Malcolm Newsam CBE to the role, who he sees as a “very strong candidate” due to his track record in the field and his experience with local authorities. However, Hinds will first consider the council’s review on his proposal next week before appointing the commissioner.

Additional children’s services capacity has also been brought in through the DfE’s Partners in Practice programme, with Lincolnshire County Council providing practical support and advice.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Ho... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >