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Doncaster children's chief to be Slough commissioner

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Doncaster MBC’s director of children and young people’s services is to oversee improvements at Slough BC following government intervention.

The Department for Education has appointed Eleanor Brazil as commissioner for children’s social care in Slough as part of a direction to the borough council to improve its services.

Ms Brazil was hired by Doncaster last year to help turn around its struggling children’s services, and was previously brought into Haringey LBC in the wake of the Baby P scandal.  

In a letter to Slough BC, children and families minister Edward Timpson, writing on behalf of education secretary Nicky Morgan, said Ms Brazil would be responsible for establishing an independent trust to deliver services on behalf of the council and for overseeing improvement to services until that trust is fully operational.

Ms Brazil has overseen the establishment of a trust at Doncaster MBC, which was ordered to take this approach by DfE ministers last year. A Doncaster MBC spokesman said Ms Brazil would remain in her role at the authority whilst overseeing services at Slough.

Slough was issued with an improvement notice in July 2011 after an Ofsted inspection rated its child protection arrangements as ‘inadequate’. A further Ofsted report in February gave the same rating.

In July Mr Timpson wrote to Slough that he was minded to use the government’s statutory powers to intervene by setting up a trust to run services.

“Putting services beyond the council’s control is the right course and wholly proportionate to the problems identified,” his letter said.

At the time, Slough’s chief executive Ruth Bagley issued a statement saying the council did not support the trust model.

Rob Anderson, leader of Slough BC, said this week: “We have received the letter and instruction from the minister and are considering the contents. We have been expecting these instructions and it is good to be able to move forward.

“We look forward to meeting Ms Brazil and we will be working with her and the DfE to agree a memorandum of understanding by November 3.”

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