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Commissioner appointed over city's children's social care failures

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Eleanor Brazil has been appointed children’s commissioner at Stoke-on-Trent City Council due to failings in children’s social care.

Under a direction from education secretary Damian Hinds today, Ms Brazil will assess Stoke’s capacity to improve and decide whether the council should lose operational control of children’s social care services.

An Ofsted report following an inspection in February this year found children in the city were not being protected and experienced serious delays in accessing support.

Leaders in the council were said to have not sufficiently understood the “extent and impact” of these failures and have been “ineffective in prioritising, challenging and making improvements”.

Ofsted said there has been a “serious decline” in services since the council was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating in 2015.

The direction says Ms Brazil will advise the education secretary “on relevant alternative delivery and governance arrangements for children’s social care” and report to children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi by 9 September this year.

Stoke has been contacted for comment.

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