‘No quick fixes’ says children’s services boss as critical report is published

BCC Cllr Lin Hazell
BCC Cllr Lin Hazell

‘There are no quick fixes’ says the head of Bucks children’s services following a government report published yesterday (Thursday).

The report outlines the progress made by the service since it was branded as inadequate by Ofsted.

Boss Lin Hazell welcomed the findings and said: “Since we received our inadequate rating we have carefully planned a whole range of initiatives to improve the outcomes for children and young people.

“I recognise the size of the task ahead, but I believe that with careful planning and resourcing we can turn things around.”

Councillor Hazell, who took over the county’s children’s services after the resignation of Angela Macpherson has been met with enthusiasm by the department, according to the report.

It said: “In discussion with staff groups Ms Hazell is well known and, anecdotally, has a presence within children’s services that was welcomed.”

Bucks County Council chief executive Chris Williams reacted to the official publication of the report by saying: “This is good news in that the Under Secretary of State has the confidence, despite some reservations, that we can bring about the required improvements in children’s services ourselves rather than appointing external commissioners.

“I am fully committed to the improvement work, having dedicated about one third of my time to providing support to the children’s services senior management team and colleagues in driving forward the improvement plan at pace.”

The report says that Mr Williams failed to act quickly enough before and after a damning Ofsted report which branded the service ‘inadequate’.

It also advised Mr Williams to step down as chair of the Children’s Services Improvement Board.

The Department for Education will be making arrangements to bring in an independent chairman.

It has informed the county council that they will look for evidence that the pace of change is maintained and that there is strong leadership and management of the improvement programme.